Taboo and Money

Yesterday I whined, and today I’m going to do something worse, and break one of the taboos I was raised with.
You see, I was raised not to talk of politics (we had a lot), religion (ours tended to have weird shadings) or money (we didn’t have any.)
Unfortunately I need to talk about money. Kind of.
First – I think it was Sabrina Chase, but it might have been someone else – said something about the problem about indie is that none of us knows how to make money from it.
This is not necessarily true. My dipping of toe into the pool of indie has been skittish and a bit odd, but it has also, to an extent, been rewarding. I mean, until this last weekend, I had nothing up but short stories and – between all outlets – they were bringing me between $100 and $200 a month. This is of course peanuts, but when you consider the work I’ve done so far has been light editing and a few weekends putting short stories up; when you consider further that my covers suck raw eggs (I need to redo them, but there hasn’t been time) it is not bad income for stuff that has already been published and/or was in the drawer doing nothing.
This weekend I added three very old novels that, furthermore, do not fit with the direction my career took. (And thank heavens. I meant what I said in the afterword for those books. If they sell really well, I’ll finish the series to the point the aged Shakespeare walks into fairyland to live. However, they’d have to sell VERY well. To get in the frame of mind to write those books, I need to mainline Shakespearean plays and read a lot of Elizabethan speech. It will help you understand how weird those books are FOR ME if you know that I wrote the first draft of DST before I wrote that. No, it wasn’t as good as the published version, but it was closer to that than to this. By miles. And after those books came out, EVERYONE in the field wanted me to do more “literary fantasy.” I can do it, yes, but it’s not natural and it strains my mood. Thank heavens Baen saved my life.) They are selling more than the short stories, just by themselves. This is good. It gives me hope as I finish editing the indie novels (and the old published ones) I can make a decent living off indie.
Unfortunately the novel that is my life is very badly plotted. Or maybe not. Maybe Himself is making it exciting. After all, what fun is there in letting me set up this form of income, then take over, and then having Dan quit and do his own stuff? No drama, no angst.
So it’s looking like, with both boys in college and our savings down to nothing, Dan’s job has gone precarious. Mind you, it might recover and keep on trucking. But if not, we’re in a world of pain.
Right now my income is about 1/3 of his, and with his income and mine we’re barely making it.
The funny thing is that we didn’t even buy close to the “best” house we could afford. They qualified us for double the loan we took. (And man, did we like that house. But we’re not stupid.) And that was when I had virtually NO income. But the raises stopped too, and our expenses kept going up – part the inflation that doesn’t exist, part the boys growing up (you never expect them to cost more.) Part is that we spent a lot of money fixing stuff in the house – because we didn’t know it had been flipped twice before – yes, yes, now we have fixed almost everything and will probably finish before it can go up for sale, but now with cutting down paper books and the prospect of the kids moving off in the next five years, it’s rather a lot of house for us (and I don’t have the time to clean like I used to, as the career is also showing signs of life.)
The truly sad thing is the main reasons we bought a house this size and where it is was a) the paper books. No, seriously. You have no idea how many we still have, not counting the ones boxed for sale. b) the schools – which ended up not being a good fit at all.
But anyway, we have this huge mortgage, and we have grocery bills that swallowed the universe, and we have cars that are fixing to die. And we have almost dead cars (the ones Dan and I drive, if sold together, might net us 8k.) And last year, between car and house repairs ate into our bank account to such an extent that the check to the IRS might wipe it out.
Now, none of these is the end of the world. If Dan keeps his job, there is money coming in from Baen. And while we should still fix this house and sell it and move (for one get our money out of it, which at this point should allow us to buy a house outright elsewhere) we might even be able to manage that as indie picks up.
If nothing else goes wrong. If Dan keeps his job. If my stuff keeps selling. If…
I was reading an article somewhere, a while back, that the new kids couldn’t expect job security and might have to change careers two or three times and adapt, in their working lives. The article was written by someone my age, which led me to wonder what kind of special snow-flake he was. Because for Dan and I that has already been the reality. This is why we NORMALLY like to keep six months salary in the bank (but that hasn’t been true since 08.) Because suddenly he’d find himself unemployed and whatever I was doing would tank and – inevitably – we’d both get ill for months, and next thing you knew we were considering the soup kitchen. (Okay, only happened twice, but trust me, once is enough. I was hungry for two years growing up and THAT was enough too. It’s not the sort of thing you want to revisit.)
Anyway – the issue is that when I start panicking (and I panic easily) I can’t write, which blocks the one way I can make money to keep us afloat, right? It’s stupid. It’s also fairly normal, from what I hear from my colleagues.
All this to say, our situation is nowhere near dire yet. I’ve heard of people taking out their retirement accounts to pay for groceries. We’re not there yet. We’re not even at the point of postponing buying underwear. Clearly since I bought some this weekend. (And yes, we’ve been at that point before.)
But we are at the point of postponing buying new glasses and extending the time to take cats for their shots.
In a way we’re blessed, with Dan still working, and my income picking up, considering the times we live in.
This is to say – I’m NOT begging. Yes, I’m worried about money, but show me ONE person who isn’t just now.
On the other hand, at Liberty Con, Jerry Pournelle told me that a blog the size of mine should have a subscribe button – that you should be able to support it, because I put in an hour to two hours work on this EVERY day, including Sunday and holidays, and he says writing for nothing is immoral.
He is right. Of course he’s right. There’s a man I don’t argue with. BUT I know a lot of my regulars and a lot of my fans are hurting, and I hate to ask for money for stuff they’re getting for free, anyway.
On the other hand, the joking this week led me to see a way to provide value added to those who do subscribe: i.e. access to my unedited work.
Now, to clarify, I’m not giving you access to ALL my unedited work. Some of those will be under contract, and some publishers get shirty about such. Also, Baen sells earcs and I’m not getting in competition with them.
This means there will be weeks that the subscribers will get clear, cold nothing – though I’ll make a little newsletter, if you wish, and tell you what is going on and why there is/isn’t material – And sometimes I’ll jump around between things. Like, right now I’m editing two books, one of which is posted unedited, so you wouldn’t get that, and you might or might not get new snippets I put in. But I’m also writing Jane Austen fantasy, and you could get that. And I’m completely rewriting shadow gods, and you’ll likely get that in chunks over the next few weeks.
There’s also short stories being fixed to go up, and you might get the unedited version, and musings on future history.
As I said, you won’t get stuff every week, but you’ll probably get two or three novels, and ten or twenty shorts in aggregate through the year.
What subscription isn’t: it’s not a substitute for donations for the novels. That is separate. Unless you’re donating at the Medici level, I’m not sending you edited copies of every novel, in ebook format. (If you’re donating at the insane level, I’ll also send you copies of my Baen books. I’ll buy them, sign them and send them to you. And book t-shirts, too. But I don’t expect anyone to do that, hence, Insane. And I only expect you to do Medici if you win the lottery.)
Anyway, the subscription button is there. Maybe Jerry is right and it will generate considerable income. Maybe it won’t, in which case it comes down. My price for the additional work of compiling the work of the week and putting it in a way you guys can access it, is $100 a week – because that’s what I get for my PJM work(which, btw, is up today) which takes what I estimate about the same time. Yes, we know what I am. We’re just haggling over the price. If the subscriptions build to at least that, I’ll continue. If not, I’ll refund people and stop the program.
Meanwhile don’t feel obligated. Yes, things might get dire at Casa Hoyt but I know they’re already dire for a lot of you.
(The whole idea of people giving money for my unedited stuff baffles me, btw. I’d give money for Heinlein’s grocery list… but he was HEINLEIN. I’m just little Sarah Hoyt, telling her little stories.)
Everyone I know – and their cousins – told me to have a subscription program, and it is up, but I don’t want anyone alarmed and thinking I’m starving in the dark. I’m not. And even if things get really dire, the worst that will happen is that we lose the money in the house and be left with the cats, the books and the kids. It would be a pain in the butt, but not the end of the world. The living things would still be okay. A lot of people are worse off.
On the other hand, if you choose to support this blog and this writer, I am, needless to say, very thankful, and it will help.

I have a different article up at Mad Genius Club and my How to Write a Novel in 13 weeks up at PJM.

UPDATE: For some reason it’s not letting me do this.  We might move where the blog is hosted soon, because of this nonsense,  (i.e. I’m not the only one having trouble and the net is full of people complaining)  So, if you want to bookmark this — Tazwriters Zazzle Shop Other stuff will go up over the next week, including (up soon) the infamous t-shirt with the drawing of me by Chris Muir.

266 thoughts on “Taboo and Money

  1. Over at the Washington Examiner this morning I saw a headline reporting that McDonalds is putting up want ads requiring a Bachelor’s and two years experience for cashiers jobs. So, yeah, “new kids couldn’t expect job security and might have to change careers two or three times” this decade.

    1. I heard on the radio yesterday that a new study at showed that 12% of minimum wage earners had AT LEAST a bachelors degree. Yep, that masters cryptozoology sure looks good on the resume, and probably is the reason you got the job asking, “do you want fries with that?”. Of course the manager started working there as a sophomore in high school, and dropped out the end of his junior year, so he could get more hours. So his experience and the ability to make change without a calculator is standing him in better stead.

      1. My thinking is that a question of such existential import as “do you want fries with that?” requires a major in philosophy, at the very least.

        1. I’ve been warning people about “inflation in education” for almost two decades now. The idiots refuse to listen.

              1. At least two departments at Flat State U were considering requiring incoming grad students to take writing and composition courses from within the department.

      1. I didn’t get my masters. But most people I know about who did have spend long stints working in jobs not much better than mine during the last decade, including one who worked for a cleaning firm. A degree guarantees nothing. I does broaden your options somewhat, though.

        1. Oh joy, typing one-handed sure is fun. I’m that, temporarily, inflamed left shoulder, just got two cortisone injections there today.

          1. my eczema is acting up on my hands. I must win a “lottery” of a kind or another so I don’t have to clean anymore… detergents are very bad for this, and gloves seem to aggravate it.

            1. Okay… what’s the prize for the most baddest physical malady of the day?

              My entry is I had a rear lower molar pulled today… It’s the first time that someone saying I have a tight jaw was well meant. He said “the last time I had to pull a tooth that was this hard to get out as this one was the last time you were in here to get one pulled.” I guess getting tight jaws on occasion is good for something…. maybe?

                1. They are supposed to melt in your mouth.

                  My entry is fairly mundane: I kneed a submarine today. Twice. With the same knee. I’m lucky in that I don’t have any major medical problems. Mostly because I don’t go to doctors unless bits are about to fall off.

                    1. Ensure– when the hubby had to only eat soft foods for a month– that really helped when he had to have enough energy to work too–

                    2. We sucked down Ensure during boot camp. Mostly when guys got their wisdom teeth out, or when we couldn’t make it to the chow hall for whatever reasons.

                  1. Thank you for the well-wishes everyone. I’m kinda a silent lurker here who pops up only once in a while, but I know many of the regular’s names. I’m now sitting with her about two hours after she came out of surgery. She can lift both arms and legs (weakly) on command, and answer questions (so she can hear and speak), and see us. And yes, she’s a little cranky and testy about the pain even though she’s drowning in pain meds. I figure that’s a good sign. A cranky Mom is an alive Mom. 😀 Will know more about how well it went after the MRI tomorrow.

                    Give all your loved ones an extra hug today. /there isn’t such a thing as too much. 🙂

      1. As many here have probably already learned, the initial story has been corrected: the requirements required were an error by a job listing agency. The sad thing is that few people were inclined to doubt it, even though it seems clear that a company so selective as McDonalds would disdain college graduates in favor of more industrious and ambitious workers.

        1. I had missed that. It’s good to know. Based on what I have read about it, I was probably more bothered by that story than most people, seeing it as a sign of a truly significant downward spiral, but if it was a simple ad agency mistake, it makes a huge difference (to me, if not to anyone else).

  2. BTW – keep the button up there for at least a month, eh? Some of us want to subscribe but need time to accumulate space on the plastic. How are you handling family plans, IYKWIMAITYD?

  3. I think this is a good venture. 🙂 As for us, we have been playing the furlough game since 2009 so we are always short of money. Then I had some really bad infections (and ended up with a lot of money going towards dental). I am now dealing with a chiropractor, but it has been the most useful so far and the least painful in the body and the pocket book.

    I do wish I was doing better with indie. 😉 I do have my shorts and novels at the right price (not the 99 cent stuff), but I think that some of them may have been in the wrong genre– (turns out most of my stuff fit in the contemporary fantasy and dark fantasy). So all good. I am looking over a couple of my novels that I started last year and will be working on getting them finished. They actually are better when I look at them then when I was writing them. You know how it goes — so we’ll see what happens next. I do so want to keep writing and not get depressed. lol

    I have been writing a long time, but only been doing the publishing for two years– so I guess I am really a newbie in the publishing side of things.

  4. One way you could save a noticeable amount of money, and be considerate of your cats health, is to give your cats their shots yourself. I’m not cognizant of Colorado laws, but most states have no problem with home dispensed shots for everything but rabies. Rabies in reality wouldn’t be a concern for mostly inside housecats EXCEPT for the repercussions of what an overbearing government might want to do if your cat happened to bite somebody who then went to the hospital or complained. Which is why I don’t recommend giving rabies shots at home, as well as the fact that it is illegal in some states, and hard to get in most of them, since most states don’t allow the pharmaceutical companies to ship to nonlicensed buyers. Some companies do anyways, and some even ship rabies certificates with the shots, but fortunately I’ve never had to test how well such certificates would hold up in a legal situation; I suspect not that well.

  5. It is too easy to go along enjoying your daily rant (ok, most of them), and forget that the damned DONATE button is way up there at the TOP of the page.

    I throw a couple bucks in the kitty (no pun intended) when I read one of Kris Rusch’s posts and feel moved to contribute. She reminds us at the bottom of each post – I don’t mind that – and when I’m moved to contribute (to keep the good stuff coming), I do.

    I think your BLOG is as worth paying money for – and maybe even for a different crowd – as your books are. YOu are using valuable writing time every day – I see no problem with monetizing it.

    And don’t feel you have to polish it more or anything – it works fine. The subscription idea is a good one – though I also agree you should leave it up there for at least a year before deciding whether it works for you or not.

    But I do feel you ought to put your Donate button – maybe with different wording? (“Like? Leave a donation.”) at the BOTTOM of each post.

    PS – Just sent tip – thanks for reminding me.

    1. ABE — I’ve tried. what prevents me on that is my stunning technical ineptitude. But this weekend is blocked out for beating up the computer, so I’ll try to figure it out!

      1. Meanwhile, just write, “Donate button is up top. Please leave a tip when you feel like it – it helps keep me writing this blog which takes a big chunk of my daily writing time.” at the bottom of every post. In your own inimitable words, of course.

          1. I’ll second that. I also seem to remember Glenn saying that he got a bump every time he mentioned it. Back when he mentioned it instead of the Amazon links all the time.

            I don’t read the serial stuff. It’s a matter of my attention span and where I read. (John, bed, dinner table.) However, I have often wished it were JUST a tad easier to click through to buy your stuff at Amazon. Not that it ever stopped me cold — I always managed somehow — but streamlining those impulse buys can’t hurt anything. When you have a moment in your copious free time.

            Also, FWIW, I tried to add the Shakespeare omnibus to my Good Reads and got all manner of grief. I imagine it would have gone more smoothly if there’d been an ISBN. At some point, it might make a quick blog post to tick off your reasons pro and con for going without one. Enquiring minds and all that.


            1. There will be an ISBN and a paper edition — this is the issue — I need to incorporate and the corporation needs to buy the ISBN block. That way we can all use them. It’s delayed until probably two weeks from now, but because of our situation I wanted the books up now.

              I’ve decided to do computerage this weekend (except Saturday when Dan and I are running away from home and probably to one of the museums we have membership to, for a mental health day.) So I’ll fix the my books and all because well… right now I don’t particularly want you to give money to the old publishers 😉

              1. Oh, dear! I just bought the whole steampunk trilogy! That’s … B*nt*m. Do they count as “old”? So sorry!

                1. I bought them used last year, when Sarah recommended buying them used rather than giving Bantam any money 😉

                2. Just consider it the Earc set, and you can, if you like it, get the author’s cut edition as well when it comes out.

      2. “Never let computers sense fear. They’re like animals and small children: once they sense fear, they’ve gotch’ ya.” Unknown former IBM tech.

        1. This is sooooo true. I used to see new techs walk into a huge computer room (when the computers were large enough to be in one room) and watch the equipment start to fail– one by one. lol

          1. I tend to threaten computers with baseball bats, and they straighten right up. Served me well when working on the helpdesk. Had callers who were being transferred to me on Second Tier support tell me that their problem went away while they were on hold.

        2. Do you know how to recognize an IBM service tech at the side of the road with a flat tire?

          He’s the one changing each tire in turn to decide which was is flat.

          1. Software or hardware tech lol. Well, we had to learn how to troubleshoot so swapping wasn’t allowed. However, we live in the age where the techs learn to do that first thing. *grumble. 😉

            1. Actually I thought it you were going to say he was the one that turned off the car and restart it just to see if the problem would go away. *snort

              1. You do that with a Prius.
                That was my final suggestion when I was helping co-workers figure out the new motor pool cars.

                1. I do that with my new four-wheeler. Double the mpg and extra power is nice out of the new EFI motors, if they could just get the bugs worked out of the $%%$&* computer!!!!!!

            2. That disappointed me in SATCOM school. I thought I’d learn how to repair boards and components. Nope, it’s pluck the device out and chuck it in the trash…(Cycling power is another common troubleshooting method. I cringe every time, as one of my old teachers said that electronics are happiest when you turn them on and leave them alone. I’ve found that one out the hard way, too.)

              1. My hubby wrote some of the curriculum for one of the schools in Pensacola. He also advocates leaving the power on ;-). Plus he can troubleshoot to the component level. To be fair many of the modules you throw in the trash are so densely put together (micro circuits) that you wouldn’t be able to get a solder anywhere near the board w/o melting something else. —

              2. Oh yeah, I have always been told to turn them on and leave them on, unless something is wrong, then try turning them off and restarting before you try anything else, that fixes 90% of the problems in computers. Uhh, I like mechanical things where if something is broke I can see what it is, even if I can’t fix it at least I can tell what is wrong.

                1. Cycling power tends to either invoke a reset or causes intermittent problems to become steady state ones. Either is preferable to the phantom glitch that seems to appear and disappear at random.

                    1. Catch you? I have no such intention. Rather I will lie in wait until your next foray along the cyber pathways, stick out a leg, and watch you faceplant. You are a very bad lady indeed.

                    2. Be careful about ambushing Baen authors – even if individually they might not have more firepower than small countries (with a few exceptions), the fan base is… well armed and protective. And proactive.

            3. The reason for that, of course, is that parts are now so cheap that they are worth less than the time of the tech to do normal troubleshooting. Therefore, swapping actually saves money.

        3. Which is why I advocated hanging the guts of one from the ceiling of the computer test lab I worked in, pour encourager les autres. “That could be you,” I would whisper sweetly as walked down the rows. “One blue screen too many…”

          (Don’t judge me. I had to automate testing on Windows 98 and ME. On a network. I still have nightmares.)

            1. Someone didn’t know the code, the pattern! (Only buy every third MS upgrade…. AFTER it has proven itself by not screwing up everyone else’s equipment.)

              1. In recent years it’s been every second upgrade, not every third. 98 SE was decent, ME was horrible. XP was good, Vista was really bad. 7 was good, 8 has been bad decision after bad decision so far. Whatever the next one is (I doubt they’ll call it 9, that would be too consistent) is likely to be at least decent, but you’d still better wait a year after its release before you buy it.

                … Or you could always install the free bugfix that comes on a single CD and ensures you never have to deal with any of Microsoft’s terrible UI decisions, ever again. It’s called Linux. 😛

                (Though in recent years, some of the more popular Linux versions have had their own terrible UI decisions, so it’s not quite as much of a bugfix as it used to be.)

          1. Do you need help with the messy parts? I would be happy to help. Teamwork, just like the old time interrogations, I’ll provide the incentives, and you ask the questions. 🙂

          2. My favored mode of troubleshooting is to begin swearing at it (it’s a sailor thing. Swear at anything that doesn’t outrank you, and a few things that do). If that doesn’t work move on to the showing of the implements; ball-peen hammer, large (1-1/2″ or above) wrench, 16 lb sledge, fire-ax, really whatever you can get your hands on.

            Seems to work pretty well, but a 6’4″ man walking down the halls carrying a sledgehammer while angrily muttering obscenities not-so-sotto voce tends to draw worried looks from new coworkers.

              1. That’s why I specified new coworkers. The experience guys were following behind to watch.

            1. I had a computer that only worked when I threatened to fling it out the third floor window halfway up a mountain, frisbie like. Yes, it had windows ME.

              1. One major objection I had to the Apple computers of the ’90’s was that a computer shouldn’t come with a built in throwing handle. The temptation is just too great. Especially with MacOS.

                1. I’ve got an old PowerPC iBook that I like to carry around as a coffee shop laptop.

                  But its got Linux on it.

            2. Gotta work on that terminology there… On my duty stations we never used “hammers” – we used “technical tools.” And we could fix anything… if the current iteration of the equipment was overly repair resistant, it was “surveyed” off the fantail and replaced with a more compliant issue.

              1. In the MM world hammers are very common and diverse. There’s the ball-peen hammer, the crescent hammer, the schedule 80 hammer…

                Unfortunately most of our equipment is heavy and well below the waterline, so float-testing wasn’t very common in our troubleshooting.

        1. This is hosted on the wordpress site which is now doing weird stuff in the name of protecting subscribers. I have been trying unsuccessfully to link Zazzle shop this morning.

          1. WordPress seems to keep changing things at a pretty fast pace. I still haven’t gotten half of the things up on my blog I have been planning to because what I learned about how to do things with it yesterday seems to no longer hold quite true today. Hopefully they will stop with the improvements for a while at some point so I can start catching up a bit.

  6. Not to be too nosy? But what exactly does Dan do? I know it’s in the field of computers, but I don’t know more than that.

    I only ask because I’m a programmer, and right now I have to beat the recruiters off with a stick. Not necessary for local jobs, though a fair number of those, too. I don’t know the market in your area; but as smart a guy as he is, i have to hope/believe that there are opportunities out there for him if worse comes to worst.

    1. Dan is a computer wrangler. He uses a lasso to herd computers from one pasture to another so that they don’t overgraze, and then every spring and fall, he joins a computer drive. At the end of winter, the computers are rounded up, and the new calf computers are branded by a hot trademark iron in the flank of their plastic cases. The smell of branded computer cases is actually quite nauseating if you aren’t used to it. The computer drive takes a herd of computers to market at the railhead in Dodge City Kansas. At the railhead, the computers are shipped off to the computer slaughterhouses in Chicago where they are butchered into new iPhones, and iPads. After the month long drive, he then takes the money he’s been paid off by the boss wrangler and after drinking in a saloon run by Miss Kitty, the little pittance remaining is sent to his family.

        1. I really have no idea where that came from … but it had to come out. That’s all I can say. It had to come out.

          1. You forgot to mention the modem screams as the calf computers are branded, it makes you pray for the silence of the RAMs

              1. Traditionally laying a pun requried a plotting table, central funning control and forward observers. Nowadays, higher accuracy due to computers and other technical break-throughs have pushed the adoption of smaller teams and jokes of a lesser caliber.

                1. Send me a photo of the area, and I’ll plot the precise aim point. Of course,a the pilots won’t be able to see it, and will drop BG&BG, hoping they come close. The post-strike Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) will prove the pilots missed the target area and blew up a baby milk factory instead, but then that’s because the BDA is done in DC.

                  1. Who was flying the mission? Navy or USMC you can talk about precision bombing. AF you have the ordinance launched on a parabola as the pilot says a prayer it goes the right direction and maybe scares someone.

              1. I meant Random Access Memory.
                But Aries or Amun-Ra fits, “who comes to the voice of the poor in distress…”

        1. I just finished doing my taxes, I think that qualifies me for a coke optional drink.

        2. I knew someone who programmed for the British Royal Navy.

          According to him, the office ran on “ROM, debuggery, and the hash”.



    2. I’m not at liberty to discuss what he does. Let’s say that his sub-branch is getting hit with the stick ALL over right now. Yeah, he can jump. This is just a really bad time. I don’t expect him to be unemployed too long and normally it would be a non-event, except for depleted savings (Last year cost us 30k of those) 8k to IRS this month (yes, we are incorporating. Stop shouting at me! I know. I used to be afraid of lawyers because the ones we went to cost us almost 5k for a trifling matter. Charges showed up without warning. I think they might be crooked. Or very ambitious. Anyway… One of the readers here is a lawyer, and I do have to pay him sometime, but there’s hopes I can afford it, and also they might take older son in payment.) and two boys in college. I’m sure Dan can find other stuff, but it will necessitate moving, and see state of savings and overcommitment.

      1. Take the older son in lieu of payment, as opposed to being paid to take him? You better read the fine print in that contract.

          1. Highjacking tread, look to update for zazzle shop url — and see teh awesome of older son’s art work…
            That boy is going to go far, if they don’t hang him first.

          2. The applicable principle is ably demonstrated by the musicians hired for Mrs. Rittenhouse’s party:

            What do you get for not rehearsing?

      2. Please consider Austin if you move. The tech field here is rife with openings. Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio to a lesser degree also, and those cities are all less expensive and less lefty than Austin. I would also be happy to hostess you.

        1. I was just passed over for a position in Austin because i couldn’t move there fast enough and had no idea what to quote salary wise

          1. Draven, I’d quote a little less than the going rate in California or Colorado but not by much. Austin has a lot of silicon valley refuges and I doubt they took pay cuts to come here. When I get recruiter enticements from the west coast, the pay is actually not much more than I currently make. And Austin is still a heck of a lot cheaper than San Jose or Seattle even with the recent price increases here. I’m a QA person/performance analyst these days BTW.

            Austin has gone *v*e*r*y PC, but there is always Williamson county. The city may be blue but the surrounding counties aren’t. I consider moving outside the city limits whenever the city does something unusually crazy and infuriating, but I really love my garden and my neighborhood and I’m basically lazy. I’m also not sure there is any safe haven.

        2. Worse than lefties, Austin’s home to large Libertarian party, Ron Paul and Alex Jones (infowars) contingents.

          1. What happened to the self-proclaimed Rednecks on the south side of the river? ‘Scuse, “Lake” Travis, IIRC. (Which I may not; it’s been many a year since I’ve been there.) Did they go Libertarian?

            (Other places to think about might include Boston; BBN in particular (in Cambridge, which absorbed by the Bostomeba) was a nice place for my spouse to work for… 30 years? Thereabouts. Mind, he lived an hour away from it (we still do), so there were some major drives, and I don’t advise living in Ma. because the prices, gah! There are some inexpensive areas of NH, if you don’t want a good school district anymore.)

              1. When they move out, it doesn’t get a whole lot cheaper… it’s just them overloading their credit cards instead of yours… and the government isn’t the only agency that does bailouts…

            1. The rednecks are still there just pushed a bit further from the river. And it’s “Lady Bird Lake” last time I checked and 1st street is “Cesar Chavez”.

        3. I’d note also, on the son/intern front, that there is some strong oilfield/energy sector in Texas. I dunno much about the Aero sector there, beyond that there is some stuff in Dallas.

            1. I have this problem with having a license to carry a gun even when NOT concealed. URG– I was thinking of TX when hubby retires or FL… We may stay in NV though.

              1. Yeah, that really bugs me to. They claim to be all conservative and libertarian, then they are one of only 6 or 7 states that REQUIRE a license to carry a gun?

          1. Well, I’d note that Texas is sometimes The Great Enemy To The South, depending on my mood. It probably is in my top twenty, even if it isn’t my favorite state.

            More seriously, I was mostly trying to harp more on the theme of engineering son probably ought to get an summer internship.

            No work and no classes gets boring for an engineer. Another possibility, besides an engineering internship, is if the university, engineering department, mech e school, has a machine shop that uses student employees.

            a) Best would be an aero internship in the area, such that living expenses more or less hold steady. That might help salting away funds.
            b) Next might be a more remote aerospace facility, like one of the big Air Force maintenance bases, that has tons of contractors in the area to support it. The intern wages will probably at least off set the increased cost of living.
            c) Next might be a Mech E internship. Mech E’s are used by many industries, including energy. If Texas isn’t too far away, there are probably a lot more options than just looking around CO. Of course, there is always the possibility of applying to a TX firm, and being sent on an internship to, say, the Dakotas.

            Dunno where to place the campus jobs option on this.

            1. Also he might look at surveying firms or even construction. Both hire extra summer help (usually college kids) and while entry level is mainly grunt labor, wages are usually better than can be made at most places hiring temp/college workers. Having did a little construction and a lot of surveying I can irrevocably state that those doing the work FAR prefer having an engineer that has been in the field drawing the plans.

  7. WOOT!!! Subscription! Yay! I hear you about the rest. “Life is uncertain – eat dessert first” never seemed more appropriate! But you know how I feel about your writing. *hugs*

  8. Speaking personally, I want to give you money for your unedited stuff because I like to read what you write and I’m just plain impatient like that. I mean, there’s already stuff that you know is going to Baen that we won’t have access to so I know those things are already going to be priorities. Your time and attention are also limited quantities and they’re just not always going to be where you want them to be when you want them to be there. It’s like you’ve got a story that demands that you tell it NOW, fix it NOW, no not that way, rewrite it AGAIN… meanwhile that awesome little horror story that I can’t read and that I’m going to love never sees the light of day because you’d like to put a fresh coat of paint on it and polish it up. Heck, I probably won’t even know that story exists unless you put it up somewhere and blog about it so that I can get a copy. With a subscription, I can have access to those rough-around-the-edges novels and stories right away while supporting your writing at the same time-everybody wins!

  9. “I’d give money for Heinlein’s grocery list… but he was HEINLEIN. I’m just little Sarah Hoyt, telling her little stories.”

    So was he. (Well, switch the pronoun gender around, and he was, anyway…) To you, living in your head is normal. To the rest of us…well, not so much.

    He was better at self-promotion. And he launched a career into a market that still had intellectual room for people like him. You don’t have those advantages. He was also a really great writer. But so are you. (I doubt I’d literally pay for one of your grocery lists. But then, I wouldn’t literally pay for one of his. Narrative content, please. 🙂 )

  10. Sarah, if you are planning on selling the house soon anyway, put it on the market now, as is. Don’t wait until it’s perfect.

    And I like the subscription idea. You’ll need to be clear about whether or not you want us to beta read, or whatever. You can always make that a case-by-case matter. “Here is a short story. Ready to go. Except for typo and grammar and spelling checks. Sic ’em!”

    1. No, Pam. We’ve sold four houses. If we put it up as is — it needs two repairs that are medium/serious — needed them since we moved in — and about 10k of cosmetic stuff, and with the cats in it, we’ll be lowballed by 100k. I know it sounds weird to us (we tend to buy fixeruppers) too, but people buy the dream of what their life would be like if they lived here. So it must look immaculate and clean and…
      Also, I lived in the house for sale when the kids were little (only way we finally moved that was get a daily cleaner, which is more expensive for a house this size — the other was LITTLE — than just moving to an apartment for the duration) and I didn’t get ANY writing done for a year. When I sat down to write, the phone rang ‘can you leave the house? Someone is coming to see it.’
      I didn’t think of using subscribers as slave labor. That would be cheeky…

      1. I didn’t think of using subscribers as slave labor. That would be cheeky…

        Have you considered unpaid internships?
        Learn the tricks of the authorial trade! Live with a real, live professional writer and learn HOW IT’S DONE!!

      2. Cheeky, but not necessarily, for all that, a bad idea. You’re not selling a look at unedited material, after all, you’re selling access to things before others can have them, and the affirmation of inner circle membership that says we get to see the secrets behind the polished product. If you allow your subscribers to be beta readers, you’re selling attention, validation, and feedback. Kind of like a zoo selling the ability for a member to feed an animal.

        It’s all in how you spin it, and in thinking about it from the what’s-in-it-for-the-customer view.

        1. Kind of like a zoo selling the ability for a member to feed an animal.

          With LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP you get to feed the lions. With LIFETIME+ MEMBERSHIP you get to feed the lions from a safe distance.

      3. I automatically edit things when I read. I’m happier if I can mention any typos I find, when beta-reading.

        BTW, does Amazon still offer Kindle Subscriptions To Journals? I recall that someone had her LJ up on Kindle a while back… I think she finally let that expire, but I forget if Amazon decided the program wasn’t working that well, or if she didn’t feel like she was giving enough “bang for the buck.”

        1. The problem with tying yourself solely to amazon is that only a very few have kindles. As I’ve been hawking Hamster Dan about (grocery stores, churches, banks, pretty much everywhere I go) I’m finding out that if the population in the US were a basketball court, that speck of dust in the middle of the floor represents the kindle owners. (My wife owns one – I do not.)

          So to reach the rest of the floor as a potential market, I’m trying to find the time just now to do a real cover for HD (Thanks to Dorothy Klapp who told me how!) and then taking it to print. (I have this dream of going to a con and actually being able to have a tangible book at the panels I’m on instead of laying a computer chip or a thumb drive on the table.)

          But that cover is not today. 😦 Today is taxes (I finished the farm books day before yesterday) and today is installing the new solenoid on the tractor before the rain comes – supposed to be on Sunday.

          1. I don’t have a Kindle, but I have several Kindle books. I read them on my computer. You can also get Kindle apps for tablets and smartphones.

            1. Has anyone ever done a survey that explores how and where people read books? LIke I usually have at least two or three books being read at a time. One at bedside, one in the can, and one that sort of “circulates” from office to car to wherever. The kindle on computer would only work in one of these three settings, and then only in a VERY limited fashion as when in my office I’m either “goofing off” by going to, reading, and commenting on blogs, or working. Stuff I read in the office is mostly “educational” and economic “situational” stuff. So a title like “The Three Bears Get Offed by Hamster Dan” (The bloody showdown) wouldn’t make it there… (Hummm that might be fun to write!) Stuff I read n the can is usually stuff that can be read in short chunks – like currently reading a “history” book about Teddy Roosevelt’s crowd and what they did and didn’t do. And my circulating book is a fiction/adventure book starring early/pre-history American Indians (written by a couple of archeologists.)

              I am gettting a new p’one this week – the old Blackberry has been good, but it’s having conectivity problems (ie the pieces are starting to become disconnected from each other or non-functional and unreliable.) And it’s sort of a pain to do without it for a couple of days for periodic instant rice immersion therapy because I forgot to put it in a snack baggie to keep it dry in my pocket while I work. So maybe next week I can get a poneapp. But that does nothing for my “market that isn’t” since MOST people do NOT have Ipones.

              1. Most young people read on their phones. My family has three kinds of kindle per person for different purposes.

                I read A LOT of austen fanfic on the computer in the 90s, but I don’t recommend it. I got a lot of UTIs from not wanting to get up to go to the bathroom when the story was JUST getting good. (Sigh.)

              2. My kindle goes with me when I go to the doctor’s office. I always have to wait whether in the lobby or in the examining room. It has been a life-saver.

              3. I had a puppy chew my Blackberry up two years ago, still works fine, black tape does wonders 🙂

                1. Wayne, in your design for the site — don’t forget to apply for an Amazon associate’s account. THEN use the code for all books listed on the site. Back when I could have an account, it was just MY books, passively listed at back of site, but it was netting me around $100 a month (at last, for years it made nothing) just before they shut it down. So, it’s a not to be disdained form of income for a book aggregation site.

                  1. Oh, I planned on it. How do you think I was going to pay for the site? 🙂

                    What I have to find out is whether I can get the Associate ID and dynamically insert it into the URLs that are posted for the books, or whether I’ll have to go and do each one manually.

                    1. Yes, you can do it dynamically. It’s “tricky” but it can be done.

                      there’s a series of parts….
                      ======put this together with no spaces… I did lines so you could see what was going on.. ==============

                      Whatever you want the link to say, such as the Title…

                      The lmg tag gives them a tracking 1px by 1px image that countrs the numbere of times the link / ad had been viewed. You can do a similar auto-build for pictures of products/covers, it’s just a little more complex.

                    2. Sweet. I didn’t know if they built an individualized link for every item that you couldn’t produce or not. I’ll keep this in mind and if I run into problems I’ll shoot you an email.

                      Right now, I can’t even get an associate ID because I don’t have a permanent site yet.

            1. 80% of the digital market – but 100% of little to nothing is still nothing. As of now, in the US digital is only 20.2% of the market for books. That means that if you publish digital only, you only have access to 4 out of 5 potential buyers. So you are only selling 20% of your potential.

              Personally I’m not willing to just ignore 80% of the US market, not to mention nearly 100% of the world market.(European digital sales are only – 2%)

              I tried to get a variety of viewpoints but there seems to be a wall between the digital crowd and the print crowd. And in the digital crowd there are digitally invested people like John Soares (who writes a blog – who writes a blog that is pretty much unreadable for me because he’s so invested in the digital/electronic gadgets that he excluded people from contacting him (using only social media links for contact) and has a gadget that hangs on the left side of the screen and actually BLOCKS a large portion of his text/article. (I quit trying to read it through the narrow “gap of access” at the top of the screen.)

              In my quick look-see of the markets I also noticed that sales figures are most frequently given as sales/market increases in terms of percentages over last year or a previous year. This gets back to my 100% of nothing comment above. If you increase sales by 100%, the question arises, so, how many did you sell last year? If you only sold one, and you sell two this year, you may have increased sales by 200%, but you’re still eating beans out of the can in the city park.

              1. Its true that it is only a fraction of the market, but its the fraction with the best margins.

                Sometimes people in making business plans confuse volume with success. But there are very viable business plans that focus not on volume but on margin.

                1. Yes, but beyond that, he’s working with INTENTIONALLY vitiated numbers. That’s like believing the unemployment figures for the USSR, which our dept. of State did for years…

                  1. I know …

                    But I was sorta continuing an argument I have had with some business clients about business models. I am not an sort of expert in business consulting but I have seen businesses go under even while expanding. Because they did not understand their own cost structure and how they did or did not generate profit.

                    A good friend of mine makes more money in his handyman business after I pointed this out by reducing his emphasis on volume and focusing on margin.

              2. Oh, for the love of Mike. BULLSHIT. Do you now where those numbers on what the digital market is come from? Publishers. Yeah, the people who are so great on numbers.

                Yeah, I travel and I talk to people. You’re wrong. Most people who READ REGULARLY aka power readers are now on e-readers. Yeah, the housewife who buys a romance a year, or the guy who reads a thriller a year (stereotypical? Well, stereotypes exist for a reason) might prefer paper. The people who buy a book a week (or a day) are moving digital FAST.

                What every indie author (including bestsellers) offering both paper and e — I haven’t done it, yet, but most people DO — has found is that the numbers for e purchases are something like ten times that for paper books even though people buy both from Amazon (and other online outlets.)

                We have reason (not just that) to think the numbers from the publishers are BEYOND heavily edited. Sorry, Mike, that dog won’t hunt.

              3. Um, I own a kindle, my wife does not.

                Which, sir, does not mean she does not read ebooks.

                In point of fact she reads them on her tablet and phone. We both love ebooks and prefer to read that way. Just because someone does not own a dedicated ereader does not mean they don’t read ebooks. It just means they may read them another way.

                Something a little thought would probably have made clear.

                Moreover, math, if you sold one last year, and sold two this year, that is a 100% increase, not 200%.

                Additionally, the fact that ebook sales increase every quarter, while paper sales do not, should be indicative of the way things are going — if one pulls one’s head out for a look about now and then.

                The fact is the entire dead tree publishing industry — Baen mostly excepted — has a bad case of Cranial Rectal Disorder, as do their apologists.

              4. OMFG, first of all, get over yourself and stop believing all the figures given out by mainstream publishers who rely on Bookscan and stop drinking the pretty punch that comes from agents and big box bookstores.

                A few things to consider: your comment that only a very few people have kindles as justification for not tying oneself to Amazon is ludicrous. To begin with, there are more and more people who own not only Kindles, but Kindle Fires, tablets of all forms and fashions that have the Kindle app on them as well as smartphones with the same. Heck, I have an iPad with the Kindle app on it. My son has an Asus tablet with the Kindle app as well as a Kindle. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out he has the app on his phone too.

                Your comment also overlooks the fact that the younger generation is more tech savvy than mine. They will, on the whole, be more amenable to reading an e-book than they will a printed book. Why? Because digital is what they are used to.

                Your comment about liking to be able to read different books in different locations also had me shaking my head. I can do that now with a Kindle — or Nook or any other tablet/e-reader. I can carry hundreds, even thousands of books with me and go right to the last page read simply by opening that title. And, oooh, I can sort the titles on my device by last read so I don’t have to keep thumbing through what I own. I can notate, highlight, and export my notes if I want to.

                As for the “small size” of the digital market, again, quit believing everything you are being told by publishers. For one thing, they are reporting Bookscan numbers which are completely unreliable. Bookscan extrapolates the number of books sold based on a limited number of bookstore sales and markets. It is arcane hand-wavium at its worst, at least for authors.There is something else to consider about the reported size of the digital book market. It is also determined based on incomplete facts. But, even if it was an accurate number, think about it. Ten years ago the digital market for books was basically non-existent. For it to have garnered one-fifth of the market — or more — in such a short period of time is something no author can afford to ignore.

                As for making sure you hit the other 80% and get your printed book out there, good luck. Unless you know the owners/buyers/stockers for bookstores or are willing to pay big bucks for shelf space, it ain’t gonna happen. That’s especially true when you get outside of your local area. Sure, if you have a legacy publisher, you might get on the shelves — if they push your book. Even then, don’t expect to find your book there more than a month unless there is more push from the publisher and sales that you will never see reported.

                Go ahead and try for the traditional path and discount the market trends, trends I guarantee you Sarah and some of the rest who follow this blog understand better than you do. Maybe you’ll get lucky. It happens. But before you start throwing out “facts”, confirm your sources. And, btw, in answer to your question, there have been a number of studies done about where people read, what they read where and why.

                1. Go ahead and try for the traditional path and discount the market trends

                  “This should be your default advice to all who express an opinion like that to which as you have responded, unless you think the e-book market insufficiently competitive.” — Niccolo Machiavelli

      4. You definitely live in the wrong area. If I got MY house lowballed by 100k, I’d be practically giving it away.

        1. In this city you can’t find anything, NOT EVEN FORECLOSED CONDOS under 100k. It starts at 150k, I think, for the iffy areas and tiny places. OTOH it’s not fallen by much, and in Denver there ARE cheaper places/areas (mostly, because it’s so big.)

          Ohio is dirt cheap. We’ve considered it under the “if we could live anywhere” JUST for that — which is why you have so many authors up there. OTOH I have weather related depression. My year in Ohio almost killed me. So…

          1. Come to Tennessee – we lack winters. We also have all the humidity you could ever want, a lack of forest fires, low forested mountains in the eastern part, good gun laws, good economy, no state income tax, and LibertyCon…

            1. TN is on my “if we can’t stay in CO” list — but… the big draw back? Fleas. With cats — and Greebo will probably always be outside — that becomes a major issue. And don’t laugh, please. I’m deathly allergic to flea bites. It’s worse than the eczema. The entire area swells from one bite, then bursts… yah…
              So, it’s on the list. I like the idea. BUT it’s not on top for obvious reasons.

              1. Oh, I know better than to laugh at allergies. And I understand, even with a good flea medication, it never stops them all. But you can’t blame me for trying, eh?

                1. I might very well end up there. We’ll just have to go on the twice-monthly flea fogging and cats being bathed once a week plan again. Dan used to threaten to put little flea collars around my ankles in summer. Wonder if it would work…

                  1. I recall there being dietary things you can do to make yourself (and or your cats) less appealing to fleas, but if it doesn’t involve garlic, ginger or hot peppers I cannot remember such tricks.

              2. Funny you should mention fleas, there are less fleas here than any place I have ever been. You could always try Frontline, I’m sure Dan would be happy to dribble it down your back 😉

                  1. Northern Idaho, well really north-central, about an hour and a half south of I-90. The only time I have used flea medicine on my dogs since moving here is when I got a litter of kittens from the coast and they were flea infested and gave them to my dogs. I put flea dust on them once, and all the fleas went away and never came back (the cats were mostly wild, so they wouldn’t let me touch them to dust them). That was several years ago and I haven’t seen a flea here before or since.

          2. The prices are the same here– which makes no sense when you think of the jobs (highest unemployment until this year) and the real estate market (hundreds of homes in LV have been abandoned –my brothers say maybe thousands). So why is the real estate market still inflated? I think we are going into a second real estate market bubble. (Hope I am wrong)

            1. If you follow econ blogs, it looks like the banks are NOT processing foreclosures unless they think it will sell for more than the note. The backlog of nonperforming loans is huge and decreasing only slowly. As long as they keep these properties off the market, sellers can demand more. There’s at least one lawyer whose comments I follow who has a client who hasn’t paid in years.

              1. The foreclosure business has some weird things going on in it. There is a lot of conflicting reporting and the current administration may be colluding with the financial industry at pushing portfolios of non-performing loans around under the table.

            2. In the news yesterday were reports that the administration was pressuring lenders to “loosen” loan standards because, well, really, what could possibly go wrong?

              A public which believes the government and MSM financial news is like teenage cuties who believes the assurances of their boyfriends, with very similar consequences.

                1. Recession? In our dreams, perhaps. Leave us not discuss our nightmares lest they come about.

                  One need be only mildly attentive to nuances to notice that when newscasts proclaim “New home sales are up the highest % in 5 years” they are measuring against a very easy scale. Even a dead cat* will bounce when hurled with sufficient force. It is appallingly clear that our schools are doing a woeful job of teaching the public what a change in the rate of growth actually entails.

                  *Example used for cliche purposes only. No cats, living or dead, were actually hurled and any parties attempting to hurl cats of any sort in this commenter’s presence will find themselves severely chastised.

                    1. I wouldn’t mind hurling a cat at some of them, twenty claws out first and leading for the landing….

                    2. I’m all for re-introducing saber-toothed tigers and dire wolves, just so I can sic them on the current administration and its followers. House cats and timber wolves aren’t vicious enough to do the damage necessary. The only economic news I listed to is from Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and John Ransom. The rest is all eye wash.

                    3. “I’m all for re-introducing saber-toothed tigers and dire wolves, just so I can sic them on the current administration and its followers. House cats and timber wolves aren’t vicious enough to do the damage necessary.”

                      Only this time lets release them in the areas populated by those that actually want them, instead of in my backyard. (although I might not argue to hard about sabertooths, they would probably be a real rush to hunt.)

                    4. From what I have read about DC and NYC, the saber-toothed tigers and dire wolves would be run out by the rats, which have been allowed to breed up to nearly R.U.S. standards.

                    5. RES, remember you’re reading about these stories reported by people who think that meat comes from a manufacturing plant, not a moo-cow. If it’s not in a cage or a teacup poodle, it’s huge and scary. They’re just standard Norway rats, been on the docks since they came over on sailing ships.

  11. Yes, you should have a subscribe button, or a tip jar. Like Kate Rusch you should tag the bottom of posts with “This takes me an hour or so a day, if you think it’s worth paying for and want me to continue, there’s a tip jar button at the top.”

    Just do it. Quit worrying about it. Those of us with a few spare bucks will (as we have in the past) kick you some. Those who can’t, won’t. There’s value in the BLOG, you don’t need to do more, but if you do, you increase your market. Works for me.

    1. The subscribe button is up there, though it’s apparently glitchy. And Kris Rush — though an unholy combination of Kate and Kris is a terrifying prospect 😉

  12. Ok I signed up, I wanted to take a year but all it would do is let me have a month. I really want to see your work because I think it will help me.

    1. How incredibly annoying. I shall poke them with a sharp stick again. If we get it working you guys can change over. It’s cheaper for you, and I get exactly the same.

  13. I had an idea while reading yesterday’s post, and I’ll throw it out here for all the regulars to throw stones at.

    You have a number of professional writers, a large group of “beginner, would-be, wanna-be, maybe, and sometimes” authors on your site, along with quite a few people who just enjoy chatting among ourselves (see “With Profound Regrets”). Most of us have a problem promoting ourselves, even some of the “Pros”. How about a website that lists ALL of us, regardless of where we fall in the spectrum, and our works, with links to Amazon/B&N/Smashwords/Kobo, etc.? Also have a place where we all can meet, write about each other’s works, critique, comment, and simply get silly. I can’t afford much, but I’d be willing to chip in $60 a quarter to be a part of such a listing, and I’m sure most of the rest would consider it cheap publicity. Have Robert post “Ninja Nun” there, as well.

    Comments, suggestions, criticism?

    1. one of our number (I’ll let him out himself, if he wishes) is working on this project. (Sits back in evil Sarah lair) And I didn’t even threaten him with the piranha tank, I SWEAR.

      1. I feel like Pratchett’s Orangutan librarian– want to jump up and down and go ook. Hubby will eat all bananas thrown in this direction.

      2. Is he the one that you promised Marshall he could move in with if you didn’t get the project? 8^). I’m teasing, of course. Whatever you come up with. If he wants to get in touch with me directly, I can offer suggestions. You have my email address. Don’t be afraid to use it!

                    1. Robert once, in choir, forgot how his tongue worked. It had been a week of straight 2 hours a night, and he hadn’t had enough caffeine. I don’t remember what he was singing, but it came out flubbbubbbbbubbbuuubbbuluuuuu — fortunately it was just rehearsal.

      3. It was a little bit premature, but maybe if other people know, I’ll be more motivated to put my nose to the grindstone.

        I told Sarah that I will have something to take a look at in a couple of weeks. Using canned site tools, it could probably be done quicker, but I don’t like the results I get with such things, so I’m building it from scratch.

        1. It’s greatly appreciated, Wayne. I know it would help boost my sales, and many of the other entry-level writers could benefit from it, too. It will also give me a chance to see everything Sarah’s written at one glance (I hope!).

  14. Off-topic update: The movers packed up most of our stuff, with only one item that it would have been better not to pack(unfortunately already boxed up and shipped off, so there’s no retrieving). We’re mostly set for travel stuff. The motorcycle (our transportation from San Diego to Maryland) will get dropped off tomorrow for shipping. Most of the stress is alleviated. Which is nice.

      1. When we moved to Frabce, they packed the cat carrier and we didn’t notice it until the next day when we were getting ready to leave oursleves. So I had to rush out and buy another one in a mad panic because the taxi to the airport was due any second now (and thank %deity% the friend I was selling the car to had agreed with me on how I could keep one of the keys and lock the car up in front of the house becasue the closest pets mart was some miles away)

        1. GAH. Better — when we moved from NC, they carefully brought all the boxes FROM THE GARAGE marked “donation” but left the ones in the bedroom, marked CLOTHES (even though we said “nothing from garage.” Left an entire cabinet in the kitchen full (it was the good china and … never mind) and did NOT pack Robert’s high chair. (So we ended up strapping it to the roof of our car…)

      2. I’m pretty sure we managed to avoid the packed trash, and we separated out the coffee makins’ yesterday, though I had an uncaffeinated moment this morning when the press wasn’t where I thought it should be. All the rest of the stuff is packed up and shipped off, barring what we need for the next week-ish, which will get mailed to friends near our end destination. The motorcycle is more or less good to go. The starter switch is proving obstreperous, so we’re going to get that replaced in San Diego, before we head north. And likely carry a spare in our travels. Because paranoid reasons.

  15. Sarah,
    I’m totally getting jealous of the folks that can get their yearly subscriptions already so I took a look at the source code for the subscription button on your Goldport Press webpage and then a look at the code that Paypal’s Subscription Button Factory generates. It looks like there should be a chunk of code of either an encrypted or unencrypted flavor that feeds Paypal’s website the particulars about each subscription option and I’m not seeing it on your subscription page at Goldport Press. I suspect if you go back to Paypal’s Subscription Button Factory, re-do the subscription buttons and re-copy the resulting code onto your webpage (overwriting the other button code, of course) they subscription options will probably start working the way they should. If you’re short on technical folks at the moment, feel free to contact me at my email-I don’t think it’ll be much trouble to straighten it out.

  16. Considered paid ads on the blog for indie authors? A trusted regular reader could even vet submissions to ensure it meets human wave criteria. That way, like-minded folks are helping each other, and someone is getting free books.

    I would pay for a month or so of adspace because I enjoy your writing. Survival requires community. Community requires active participation from like-minded folks.

    1. It might take moving my server, though, so… it’s on “when I have time.” — I am, however, actively trying to figure out computer stuffs right now, so…

      1. I’ve bought adspace from a blogger that writes about preparedness and libertarianism (overlaps with my themes and beliefs – usually) and whatnot. $25/month. It was a losing proposition, but I’ve done it once or twice more because he does mention every book I drop. In a sense, I owed him, in my mind. He runs his blog to generate money so…

        His sight was a losing proposition because there was overlap with that community of readers and my blog. They didn’t need him to tell them about my work – the buyers already knew.

        This place might yield a different outcome for myself and other writers, because at least for me, I do my own thing then I come here and nobody knows me from Adam (What if your name is Adam; does that phrase still… nevermind). Who knows, maybe a few people here might enjoy what I write about. More than that, it’s to help someone out, so if I just broke even, then I’d be happy.

        I’m indie. I’d like to be “part” of something a little bigger, but I won’t cede my sovereignty. Helping you out and supporting this community of extra-ordinary (this word – I do not think it means what you think it means) something or others is a way for me to toss something back in the bucket.

        1. ROFL. I LIKE your side trips.

          And er… your positions are much like mine, particularly the last. I stick with Baen because as far as it’s possible to be an individual with a big house, Baen is it. BUT I keep my mystery and fantasy on the side, because I GOTS to be me.

  17. I’d buy ads on your site too.
    If the kids can’t be sold for enough, at least emancipate them and cut the expense. Working at night when you’d like to be sleeping builds character – better than sports.

  18. “(for one get our money out of it, which at this point should allow us to buy a house outright elsewhere)”

    Food for thought(for when the kids are out of the house).

    Have you thought about living out of an RV? $100 to a $150 thousand get’s you a nice 45 footer.
    Depending on where you live it might be cheeper or not that much more expensive to rent a slot a a nice RV park than pay property tax on a house.
    I’t also adds flexability for job availability between cities. Don’t have to worry about selling and buying a house. You just move.

    Depending on how you incorporate you could get some of the expense written of if you use it to go to Cons and book signings & set it up as a mobile office (Talk to a tax attorney.).

    Just some random thoughts that I’ve been think about for myself.

    1. we’ve actually thought about that, but Josh, JUST the research books (and I’m not getting rid of those) and the collectible books wouldn’t FIT. We can probably downsize to a two bedroom, around 1500 sq feet but we still need a place for books. Right now that’s most of the attic, I.e. everything above 1800 sq feet, and there’s still enough books in the lower two floors to stock a medium sized local library. And there’s not much I can do about those. Most of them aren’t in 20th century editions, let alone electronic.
      I’m hoping for something around 1500 sq feet with an unfinished basement for my fabric and craft stuff, which I still have hopes of having time to use. When the kids move out.

      1. I have thought of it too Josh– except with my health circumstances (have to be near a doctor who knows how to treat my illness– not many know how) it looks like I won’t be able to do it.

          1. We used to joke about doing this so much that Robert thought it was a hard and fast plan, and because he was very young — three or four — he’d tell people when he was grown up, his parents would live in a rootabaga.

      2. I’d like a little hangar house, with a large hangar and small house – but I know my darling man would claim half of it for the research books alone.

            1. I kind of figured an actual hanger with an airfield attached, but you said little house & hanger it reminded of the pic I showed you.


              1. I spent several years in showcases of modernist architecture. As a result, I loathe them intensely, especially for their emphasis on concept over any actual useful form, function, or ability to have functional HVAC. But I did find your take on it amusing, so no harm, no foul, eh?

      3. I was think humidity controled storage for the books depending on ho many of the reasurch books you need on hand, but the crafting space that’s a tuff one.


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