Welcome to the Morning After

I wish I could tell you this post is late because we partied so much on the fourth, but I stayed up late formatting my husband’s book for publication.  And I went to bed before my entire family.

Since we’re in a new neighborhood and didn’t feel like driving across town, the guys spent the entire evening/night trying to figure out “where to see fireworks” — at which I think they failed.  Well, the guys except younger son who went off with friends to (I suspect, no one told me) set off fireworks.  It is weird that the most introverted of the Hoyts has the busiest social life.  Those of you with kids of a retiring disposition should put them in First Robotics, where Marshall found all sorts of engineers (guys and gals) who still form the core of the people he hangs out with.

The guys are still in bed.  I’m in my office wondering what I should write about…  and coming up dry.

So this is one of those annoying posts in which I tell you I have nothing to say.  Honestly, I have to stop going drinking with Vodkapundit.  (Which he’d be grateful for, I’m sure, since I tend to drink HIS liquor.)

As soon as I manage to kick the guys awake (high depth bombs might be needed.  Well, that and I never checked younger son made it home from almost certainly not setting off illegal fireworks last night.  Or that all his fingers made it home) we’ll go to the other house to finish tuckpointing basement, repair the balcony (The slats and railing also got stripped by hail) and finish staining woodwork.  Painters did the two sides of the house that hail stripped, thank heavens.  I don’t relish the idea of going up on a ladder to second floor height.

I want to finish revising what I have on Rogue Magic and put it up again to finish.  And I’m almost done with Witch’s Daughter, the in-between book. But, let’s face it, it probably won’t happen till I’m done painting and cleaning.  Consider I’m the woman who gets stuffed up going through the cleaner’s isle int he supermarket.  Now consider paint and varnish.  Yeah.  That plus the physical work mean I am not good for much by the time I come dragging home usually far too late in the evening.

Death of a Musketeer is up for 99c till tonight (I think.) So is Candyworld by older son, which as those of you who heard him read it at LC know is a dark military fantasy.

And I gave up and put all my work — ALL my work — that’s indie or reprints in the Kindle Lending Library.  Why “gave up” — because to do it I had to remove it from Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.  Yes, I can hear Kris Rush scold in my mind, but seriously guys, I was making maybe $20 from B & N, a month, and less from Smashwords, which seems too unorganized to report properly, anyway.  Yes, yes, Kobo, and I grant you they’ve gotten better at making it easier to put up books, but they’re still difficult and the books I had there were tracking at just about B &N or very slightly ahead.

So I gave up.  It goes against the grain, because I hate to put my eggs all in one basket, which is why despite loving Baen I insist on starting and keeping up an indie career.

However there’s such thing as stupid, and also such thing as being nice to my fans.  As a library subscriber who always looks there first, because money is very tight, I sympathize with those of you in the same position and therefore have made my stuff available to Kindle unlimited library subscribers.  Remember my stuff is DRM free so if you absolutely must read it on a different device, you can always buy it and convert it, no skin off my nose.

And if you’re not a library subscriber, I try to run sales every two months or so, and now can do so for 99c while not losing my shirt, another benefit of the program.

Now, I think it’s annoying that Amazon requires you to quit the other places.  Annoying and ultimately short sighted, but eh… stuff is ready to go up again at other sites the minute I find it necessary/valuable.

Until then, well, you can read whatever you want to of mine for 9.99 a month, a pretty good value.

And now I’ll go shower and wake the guys — do you think I should hire mercenaries for the job — and count Marshall’s fingers (that boy has loved explosions since he was 4.  Perhaps before.  4 was when he started blowing up things, though.) And then I’ll go tuckpoint, paint and do carpentry.

On the good side,t his will work great in the next refinishing mystery…

224 responses to “Welcome to the Morning After

  1. I like it that fireworks are sold inEl Paso county but not in COS. 100 hundred feet makes a difference. 🙂

  2. Jeff Gauch

    Looks like Amazon is trying to drive its competitors out of business by starving them of product. That requirement doesn’t exactly give me a warm fuzzy feeling.

    • No. Me either. And it’s a stupid thing, anyway, since people buy depending on what reader they have, more than anything. Also, monopolies unless supported by government tend to fail. Someone will come along and eat Amazon’s lunch at this rate.

      • Jeff Gauch

        But people choose what reader to get in part by the content of the stores. If Amazon has millions of titles more than B&N, Amazon can charge a premium for a Kindle (and maybe actually make a profit) and still outsell the Nook.

      • Maybe they’re using it as a card up the sleeve? When someone comes in, they can pull people back by going “hey, we heard your complaints, and here’s our change!”

  3. Ah, and I’m in the process of getting a lot of my stuff OUT of Select. I will say, though, that only uploading to Amazon makes a lot of sense when you’re really tired and over-worked. And if you anticipate making more there in the short term by going exclusive than you do at other sites.

    Hopefully the rest has done you good and you won’t get too overtired working on the house today.

  4. Ditto on the ssllooooooowww B&N and Kobo sales. I tend to go Amazon first, then the others, in part because I loathe the formatting headaches of Word – HTM – EPUB. I know, if I use Scrivner or some of the other stuff it is much easier, but I’m locked into Word because of my other jobs.

    Fireworks are banned in town. Which is why I am absolutely certain I did NOT hear a whole bunch being set off on the next block at 0530 this AM. Nope, none at all.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      I don’t know the legal status of fireworks in the hands of the general public but I live near the sites of big fireworks displays here in Danville.

      I don’t watch them but last night I had to take out Lilly, my beagle, when some were going off.

      Strangely, she wanted to go back in. [Wink]

    • Yes, part of the issue with the other sites is how hard it is to put up books.

      • Well, that’s one reason I like Draft2Digital. Does a reasonable job formatting my books.

    • We pulled out of KDP Select for several months to try wide. The difference in what we were making in all the other stores, vs what we make from the lending library, even at the lower-than-retail rates the library pays, was enough to convince us it was better to go back to select. (Like Sarah, we are completely DRM free for easy conversion.)

      Much as I truly believe in the wisdom of going wide, the mortgage and food bill indicate that staying exclusive is a better plan for now. We still revisit the choice every six months, but for now, the answer is in.

    • They banned ’em in Nashville. And then cancelled the giant display due to low cloud cover & drizzle. From about an hour before sunset until 3am or 4 am or something, it sounded like a full-out insurrection around here.

    • On the drive back from the firework show, we got a close encounter with some illegal fireworks smuggled in to folks’ block parties. Like, my husband and I traded looks, and rolled the windows up type close…..

  5. snelson134

    c4c

  6. I’m still wondering about the adopted daughter I gained from you. Details please? And a link to the story?

  7. You should have come to my neighborhood for fireworks. I live just outside the city limits–so no nanny-state rules about fireworks, like several cities recently instituted. This means, of course, everybody in those cities came to visit their friends in *my* neighborhood. I had a better show than most official fireworks displays, and I could watch in my jammies, too! Really, it went on for about 2 hours. 😀

    I’m not sure why Amazon still insists on exclusivity for KU. My suspicion is they instituted it at the beginning when they were *not* the top dog to drive adoption, not to destroy competition. (B&N insists on shooting itself in the foot, they don’t need Amazon’s help for that.) And they don’t seem to mind that people read on tablets vs. Kindle devices, so they aren’t acting like walled gardeners there. I’m getting enough from the other sites to keep most of my writing out of KU, but I like to have a few items to entice new readers. It’s not enough of a boost for my larger and more popular books at the moment, though. If Nook goes toes up, as I fear it will, I might reconsider.

    My guess is Amazon will tweak the rules again shortly. Probably something like “you must be this tall to ride this ride”, where authors with proven sales and quality are allowed to be non-exclusive (because it benefits Amazon to have them be in KU vs. have them leave due to the exclusivity rule). I think Hugh Howey already has something like that.

    • Hugh’s stated he and a few indies had that deal at the start of KU, but he hasn’t for a while, and sa far as he knows, no one else still has it either. He also stated that with the change to KU 2.0, being paid per page read, it’s looking profitable enough to put more books back in.

  8. I read somewhere that B&N was throwing in the towel on Nook. After about a Billion buck. I wonder where that leaves the users? Will their books be like the bank deposit in North Park? – And now it’s gone…
    Be advised. If your kid is smart he may get past explosives with all his fingers. I was one of three boys who made rockets from melted fuel poured in 2″ steel pipe and all sorts of explosives up to and including nitroglycerine. All three of us graduated high school intact. We were all smart enough to mix and melt only in metal wide mouth containers and detonate remotely with electric ignition. Well, except for smacking drops of nitro on an anvil with a hammer…

    • Nowadays you’d be in jail for making pipe bombs! A friend of mine said he’d tried to make TNT in college, but he got the temperature wrong (never mind what temperature). He did make some nitro-triiodine; it’s very sensitive and might be what they make those little poppers from (the little piece of paper that you throw and they blow up).

      Here’s a tee shirt for people who make their own fireworks, from the good people of United Nuclear: http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29_55&products_id=426. Lot’s of cool stuff there.

      • I suspect lots of us made bombs growing up. A friend of mine lived on a dairy farm, we made a cannon out of irrigation pipe. Just about right to shoot softballs out of. Of course we were stupid enough (it was his idea, honest!) to wrap enough duct tape around tennis ball bombs to provide a fair seal and shove them down there and shoot them off… after lighting their fuse.

  9. While 99 and 44/100% of my book/ebook purchases are from Amazon, that is *my* decision. Now, I suppose you could consider Amazon like a publishing house, they usually have an exclusive right to ‘print’ the book, and some of them have shown that they are fine with sub-optimizing their writer’s income to punish Amazon’s refusal to discount their wares.

    • Birthday girl

      Does that make Amazon so pure it floats? /wisecrack

      • I am impressed that some one else understands it. Kind of like Sarah and her walk down the cleaning isle, if I wash with any soap except Ivory, I break out in a rash.

        • Oh, I’m a special snowflake. I’m allergic to ivory. No, seriously. Dove works, though.

          • I pretty much stick to goat’s-milk soaps from local farmers, and of those, only the ones that I can breathe around the scented oils. This avoids having to use the inhaler to shower, which is awesome.

          • I’m a special snowflake too. While I’m not allergic to ivory, there’s something about it that’s disagreeable to me. (Moistureizers, perhaps? I’ve notices that moisturizing soaps, oddly enough, dry out my hands…)

            I find I have to use Jergens. And anything with a scent in it is very disagreeable to me.

  10. I saw a news report about somebody’s house being raided for illegal fireworks by the police, who put the street value of the contraband at a quarter of a million dollars. So bold-faced a violation of our laws demands a public demonstration that such acts will not be tolerated; I demand all such illegal fireworks be burnt in a public display, one at a time, as a clear repudiation of such contempt for public order.

    • William O. B'Livion

      One of my neighbors was working on that last night (5 July) between 9 PM and around 1 AM.

      I don’t mind even excessive enthusiasm when it comes to fireworks, as long as you’re either (a) in a non-residential area, or (b) you f*king stop at 9 or 10.

      • Been going on since last Monday, here, from about 9:30 to at least 4AM. (I say at least, because when I wake up to feed the Lady at about that time, there’s always at least one or two going off.)

        Thank goodness our kids are sound sleepers, although Elfie and myself are looking rather ghastly.

  11. hi dear

  12. Fireworks, meh. Legal in Georgia, and before that, North Carolina was only an hour away.
    KU, WAHOOO!!! I already had access to what you had on Baen, and I had reviewed everything else you had on KU plus A Few Good Men , which was a loaner, but SHAzAAM!!!! Now I have the rest! Note: you have been reviewed, I believe, 13 times on my blog, starting last October when I was reading Mad Geniuses in rotation.

    • Bottle rockets are illegal in NC nowadays; they have been for a while. Too many yahoos bouncing them off other people’s houses, cars, and persons. I’m not sure about Roman candles or certain others.

      • I know you can buy what is essentially a sparkler fountain at Walmart, so those are presumably legal, but I don’t know whether the rules allow actual roaming candles.

        BTW, on the subject of fireworks and NC, anybody here planning to be at Congregation next weekend? I expect to be there, at least for Saturday, so y’all ‘ve been warned. (One day may be as much as I can stand; for whatever reason my innate anti-socialism has been growing this last year or two and it’s reached the point i don’t hardly ever even talk to myself.)

  13. I gave up on smashwords a while ago. I’ve sent them some suggestions, but I don’t know if they’ll implement them. The problem with smashwords is that it’s VERY EASY to game their search algorithm, and VERY HARD to find books you want to read.
    And this has only gotten worse as they’ve gotten bigger.

    B&N is okay, for books that you are targeting at middle aged (and older) women, who want to read romance, and trashy romance, because that IS B&N’s target demographic, and who they sold most of their Nooks to.

    Kobo is run by a bunch of right b&&tards, who pulled ALL of my books for months because of some PR campaign run by the same people who publish Fifty Shades of Gray, which complained about how all indies are selling porn and MUST BE CENSORED.
    They also have this terrible habit of not paying on time, (though I hear they are FINALLY staring to get better about that).

    The truth is, except for the trashy romances (which sell better on B&N than on Amazon for me), all of my SF&F sell ten times as many copies via KU than on ALL of the other booksellers combined. Until smashwords figures out it’s presentation problems (and how not to be gamed), Kobo figures out how not to bend to the will of print publishers who want it dead (and learn to pay on time) and until Apple & Google get ethics AND morals, Amazon really is (like it or not) the best game in town.

    AND Amazon goes after scammers! Which does help immensely.

    • Birthday girl

      Re Smashwords … “and VERY HARD to find books you want to read.”

      Yes, this. I tried to buy from Smashwords. There was a particular author I wanted to buy from there, under the impression that it would pay him more (don’t know whether that is actually true), then I wanted to search for more books while I was there … and the search facility was SO BAD that I threw up the whole effort in frustrated disgust, haven’t been back. A real business problem for SW, sadly ….

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      This is *just* from a reader/book-buyer point-of-view, but B&N may have “jumped the shark”.

      They are apparently changing their site for some reason and it appears to be messed up from a book browser point of view.

      They’ve messed up (IMO) the search methods and have messed up their “add to book list” function.

      Earlier, I could find a Nook book and easily add it to a Nook wish list but now I can’t add a Nook book to my current Nook wish list.

      Also, they have severely messed up “My Nook Library” on their site.

      While it annoyed me that earlier they had removed the ability to download my purchased Nook books directly from “My Nook Library” (I found a work-around for that), now they have completely messed up the “My Nook Library”.

      Earlier you could “archive” books in the Nook Library (or delete or return from the archive) and also read the books on-line. Now you just see a listing of them without the ability to process the list in any way. [Frown]

      While Kobo has restored the ability to download ebooks directly to my computer, it’s hard to locate older books in the Kobo on-line library.

      You’d almost think that the other ebook stores want to drive business to Amazon. [Frown]

      • This. This right here. Amazon is a pain from a vendor’s point of view, especially the exclusivity and the switching how you get paid with two weeks’ warning, and the “you don’t find out what borrows are worth until the 15th of the month after they’re made.”

        But they’re so focused on the customers that when they throw a vendor’s entire business model in disarray, all you have to do is step back, take a deep breath, squint, and it makes perfect sense from a customer point of view. If you’re really, really good, you can even see the changes coming, though rarely what form they’ll take.

        No, it’s not that we love Amazon. It’s that nobody else is even TRYING to compete. It’s that Amazon is so customer-centric that you know its users generally love it, and that most of your business is going to be with them. (Romance excepted in various subgenres, as well as the hard-core Baen fans who are used to webscriptions.)

        • Yes! This!! Very very much this!
          And that’s why I’ll put up with what Amazon does. They aren’t out to screw the authors or the vendors, far from it. But they are first and foremost trying to make money, and they understand that the best way to make money, is to give the customer what they want.
          The customers know that, so they go to amazon to buy their stuff.

          And if anyone thinks Amazon is difficult, try dealing with google! They have the worst interface, and they change what they’re selling your stuff for at whim! Which of course hoses up your amazon account (where your main sales are), because Amazon always matches prices. And google really doesn’t care what this does to you. At least Amazon tries to be fair to its vendors, Google could care less about them, they’re not even trying to make money, they’re just out there to screw with amazon.

          • What I hear y’all saying is that Amazon is the Democratic Republicanism of book retailers: they absolutely suck but they’re still a d— sight better than any of the alternatives?

          • “But they are first and foremost trying to make money, and they understand that the best way to make money, is to give the customer what they want”

            Unless of course, what the customer wants is anything with a confederate flag on it.

            • Yeah, them removing everything like that was a crock.

              • Did that include book covers?

                • No, now that you mention it. Books about the Civil War and such were not affected, as far as I could tell.

                  • So they haven’t totally lost their minds
                    Probably just steering the path of least…screaming offendedness.

                    • While I’m not sure about Amazon, Ebay pulled civil war model kits, as well as more blatantly racist stuff… like dog collars with a confederate flag imprint. /headdesk/

                      Remember shadowdancer talking about being a kid in East Berlin, and discovering that WWII had been totally erased from the locals history? That is what the progs would like to do with our Civil War.

          • So what you’re telling this aspiring young writer (two out of three ain’t bad) is that the quickest way to a modicum of financial success is to write romance novellas and put them on Amazon?

            • Mark, listen to me. Take this very, very seriously. Write this down.

              The only way to have a career as a writer is to tell good stories.

              If you’re looking for a fast buck, I’d recommend you go get a second job; it’ll pay better for the hours put in. Not only is writing very time-intensive to learn to tell good stories, but it doesn’t pay well unless you either capture lightning in a bottle or you build a career with a backlist.

              As for romance, it is the second-most lucrative genre on Amazon (erotica being the most lucrative), and it is the second-most-competitive, because you have a lot of people chasing that money. This means the readers are also very, very well versed in what they want and what they don’t, and less forgiving of new writers. They also demand regular publication; the highest-paid indie authors generally publish a fully plotted, high quality book a month in their core series, over and above any side series.

              I won’t say don’t do it, but going into romance just because you heard it’s the best way to make a lot of money is akin to wandering into the world poker championships and paying for a seat because you heard the pot is huge.

              • Dorothy, thanks for the advice. I’m nor trying to make a quick buck. I’ve been writing most of my adult life, just for the pleasure of it. I’ve only shared most of it with close friends. A decent fraction of it would be considered erotica. Another fraction as romance, if an anonymized retelling of events in my past qualifies as such. I’ve found I can get about 3K words/day without breaking my brain.I am semi-retired, and only work a handful of hours each week, tutoring SAT and ACT, so I have time.Big Bucks would be welcome, but I’m fine now, and I don’t think money would change my life much. Been there, done that.

                One of the things that’s prompted me to publish has been the recent success of 50 Shades. After hearing the uproar about it, I saw about ten minutes of it, I couldn’t watch the rest. Same experience with the book. I honestly think I can and have written better stories. I am primarily looking for advice as how to get started. It seems like a chicken or the egg thing. You gotta have a backlist to get started, etc. So, shorts, novellas, and self-publish where? If anyone wants to point me to a link where all of this has been addressed (surely it has), I’ll dedicate my first story to you. 🙂

            • Yup.
              Oh you might not get great success, but you will get some, if your stories are good. Personally I think EVERYONE should start out writing romance, ESPECIALLY trashy romance! (And the Trashier, the better!) because women are readers, and women are TOUGH critics. If you can write a really trashy romance, and get women to not only read it, but to LIKE it, then you have learned how to tell a decent story, develop likeable characters. You have also learned how to dialogue, and how to (reasonably) suspend disbelief – which lets face it, if you can’t suspect disbelief in a trashy romance, you’re never going to be able to do it anywhere else.

              I think I learned more about writing, from writing internet pron and trashy romances than probably anywhere else. Because the entry bar may be low, but the success bar is pretty high.

              Those people who write the big time romances, and make a lot of money doing it? You can learn something from those people, what they’re doing is not as easy as it may look. I myself only wrote them for fun, and as a learning experience, and I’m glad I did, because I learned a lot from doing it. I don’t write them anymore, because they’re not what I truly wanted to be writing, but it was fun while I was doing it.

              • Thanks, John. One concern I have about writing what you term “trashy” is that I might go overboard and write TOO trashy. Where are the absolute limits of taboo these days?

                • snelson134

                  Two Words: Step-family incest.

                  What is this taboo you speak of?

                  • All of them. I was looking at a website, I forget which one, for romance novels, as a way of researching the field,as I’ve not been a romance reader in the past. It seems like have maybe a third or half the books involved incest. The search term used was “Romance Erotica.” If I read correctly, Amazon requires that all characters involved be of legal age. I wonder if they still sell Romeo and Juliet.

                    • snelson134

                      Mark, I’m not sure there are any. After last week, I expect people to be writing actual incest, at least between adults.

                    • Legal age is not 18. Legal age is whatever the legal age is in the story.
                      Remember, in most of the world legal age is not 18, it’s 16. Same for a good deal if this country.
                      Just put a disclaimer in the front of the book that all characters are of legal age, and make it obvious that you are NOT writing about children, and no one will say a word.
                      From what I’ve seen from others, saying your female character is BBW, will get you quite a bit of sales.

                • There are no limits.
                  Well, on Amazon there are a few limits, but everywhere else? NO LIMITS.
                  You would be shocked at what women will buy and read, oh wait, you read and saw 50 shades, so no, you shouldn’t be shocked at all.

                  Amazon has issues with incest (even fake incest in some cases now) bestiality, rape, and I think a few other things. Course that’s only for indies. If you’re published by one of the big six, you can write all about that you want and they won’t say anything. (and all of those rules can be bent, though it seems Amazon has some issues with faux incest of late, any title with the word ‘step’ in it got banned, especially if it was a family member name after the step. Really messed up a lot of authors, I think it’s still be sorted out.)

                  Kobo and Apple have some issues with some of those things as well.

                  B&N and everyone else could care less.

                  • I didn’t see or read all that much of 50 Shades, as I found the premise unsuspendable, (totally a word), the characters, such as they were, cardboard, and the plot predictable.. But, perhaps I didn’t give either a fair chance. My initial reaction was that if this was a blockbuster, I could write something that would sell like the Bible.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      Haven’t read 50 shades, but know people in the BSDM community.

                      From what little I know of both and my experience with people in general, *TOTALLY* suspendible and the sales of it would seem to agree.

                    • The people I know in the BDSM world found it what they call “vanilla.” BDSM for folks that are not into BDSM.

                    • My rule of thumb: if it’s a blockbuster, don’t read/ watch it.
                      Sort of like the Hugo, till now.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      RE: Vanilla.

                      Most of the people I know in the BDSM community weren’t particularly impressed, but that’s the point. Humanity isn’t binary, it’s analog. For everyone who likes a LOT of pain with, or instead of sex there’s more who like a *little*. So you mix mild BDSM with a *really* rich guy, and really what belief needs suspended?

                    • From just the first few pages of the book I read, the chick taking her best friend’s place for the interview, her being so nervous she literally falls on her face entering his office, young billionaire surrounded by beautiful women, instantly latching onto said clumsy female for no apparent reason, and that’s about the time I put it down.

                    • If you realize it started as Twilight fanfic, you’ll get the falling, etc. Although I’ve never read it, apparently Bella is “accident prone.”

                    • I read the first Twilight book, and yes, she is accident prone.

                    • I know even less about the Twilight series that I do about 50 Shades, so I can’t glean much about its origins. I’d wager I’m not in Twilights’ target demographic.

                    • Twilight (at least the first book) can be seen as a look into the convoluted, overly-sensitive, hopeful-while-at-the-same-time-depressive of a rather introverted teenage girl, with the vampires as a sideline issue.

                    • I’ve never read it, but I know that it was brilliantly written.
                      How do I know this?
                      Look at how many copies it sold, how much money it made the author! She even got a series of movies!!

                      THAT is brilliance. THAT is reaching your audience.

                    • That’s like saying a pet rock with brilliant toy because it sold a lot. A brilliant way to make money maybe, but that’s it. My yardstick for a great work of art is ” Will they still be reading/watching/discussing this 500 years in the future? Homer, Shakespeare, Twain, RAH? Surely. 50 Shades? Not so much.

                    • I’m pretty sure that pet rock classifies as a joke, not a toy.

                      And it was a funny joke!

                    • Ah, but that’s the secret right there, he picked HER out of all the ‘hotter better looking more attractive’ women.
                      this is why twilight was also such a hit.
                      This is why so many romance novels feature BBW in the lead role.

                      The women who pick up these books are looking for THAT particular suspension of disbelief, so they’ll happily breeze right past it. They don’t care so much that he does what he does, only that he does it.

                      I mean you can make reasons for it, he’s looking for the ‘shy shrinking violet’ the ‘pure innocent’ or the ‘unsuspecting’, that he will then take and initiate into the deeper secrets of love and passion, and then in so doing will be so struck with her as a person, that he will give her his undying love!

                      Barbara Cartland sold hundreds of different stories, all that were a variation on that theme, in the sixties. She sold millions of copies. The only thing different from her, and the others that have come since, is that her sex was all off camera, and not as kinky. The formula for these stories has not changed at all. Women read them like you’d eat pistachios, in great amounts. This is why there are so many romance writers and so many romance publishing houses, and so many romance sales.

                      Women LOVE this stuff, they always have, they always will. And anybody who panders to it, will make truckloads of money.

                    • That screams “predator/user/abuser” to me…..

                    • “That screams “predator/user/abuser” to me…..”

                      Well, yes. But look around you, there are plenty of women who make that choice in real life, apparently there is a significant portion of the female population who LOVE predators/users/abusers.

                    • But look around you, there are plenty of women who make that choice in real life, apparently there is a significant portion of the female population who LOVE predators/users/abusers.

                      From the write-ups, they’ve been taught that’s how men express affection/desire–if he’s not possessive, he doesn’t care.
                      *shudder*
                      Right up there with “only crazy chicks make good girlfriends” junk.

                    • Having lived most of my life in Texas, and having dated many Hispanic girls, I can tell you that they have a cultural dynamic that does equate a man’s level of jealousy with his caring. Some Hispanic women are willing to engage in deliberate outrageous behaviors designed to trigger jealousy reactions, and feel both angry and unwanted if their boyfriend or husband does not respond in a jealous manner.

                    • I have heard as much …


                      Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
                      I fell in love with a Mexican girl
                      Night-time would find me in Rosa’s cantina
                      Music would play and Felina would whirl
                      Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina
                      Wicked and evil while casting a spell
                      My love was deep for this Mexican maiden
                      I was in love but in vain, I could tell …

                    • People do like attention. They like it a whole lot.

                      Indeed, doctors have learned that if you successfully treat a paranoiac, you have to monitor him and see if you have to treat him for clinical depression. Apparently not being the cynosure of all eyes, however hostile, is depressing.

                      Same sort of principle. Even somewhat less, since it’s only attention from one person.

                    • “From the write-ups, they’ve been taught that’s how men express affection/desire–if he’s not possessive, he doesn’t care.”

                      Yup. Theodore Dalrymple reported that his battered women patients (and he was consulted by one on average every day in his career) found non-violent men intolerably cold and distant and left them faster than they left violent men. (They left violent men, too, when they realized that his violence did not in fact indicate the strength of his interest in them.)

              • Man, I wouldn’t know where to start. I’m all for learning experiences, but…

            • Oh, and just to make it clear, yes, this is probably the ‘quickest’ way to a modicum of success for a writer, unless like Dorothy said, you manage to catch lightning in a bottle.

              and by quickest, I mean three or four years… my trashy romances have a following and a serious backlist. I haven’t written one in almost two years now, and I only sell them on B&N, but if I could get myself to put out another one, it’d probably sell a couple hundred copies immediately. But they’re not fun to write anymore, so I think i’d rather have a root canal.

      • YES. that. Your last paragraph. NONE OF THEM IS EVEN TRYING TO COMPETE BLAST THEM.

        • What’s that old saying? There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Particularly when they have a proven business model right there staring them in the face. There is no earthly reason why each of the major publishers could not implement something functionally identical to Baen’s Webscriptions. They don’t for two simple reasons. First they loathe and despise Baen, and second deep down they are still hoping against all hope that this e-book fad just fades away sometime soon and they can get back to the business model that they know and love. The one that gives them all the power over these upstart authors who think they know better than the professionals.

          • I’ve reflected on that issue for a long time. My conclusion is, they figure they’re in the “printing” business, not the “book” business.

            *You* want to buy or sell some text. *They* just want to maintain their existing business model.

    • I use Draft2Digital as well as Amazon. Get on a number of venues that way.

      • Smashwords and D2D I think have all the same extra venues.
        to be honest, I haven’t found any venue beyond Smashwords, B&N and Kobo to be worth the time and effort.
        Now if you write romance, those results will probably be different, but all the ‘big winners’ I hear about are writing novella’s and shorter on those venues. And Scribd (and the other book sharing ventures) is on the verge of going out of business, because romance readers were killing it.
        And trust me, you do NOT want to put your book on flipkart, people are having serious issues with them.

        I do not have any idea how D2D is on direct sales, or if they get a ‘better’ deal than Smashwords gets, I haven’t really investigated them at all, as I really don’t care how my trashy romances do anymore (they were just a learning experience), I’m far more interested in the stuff I’m doing under my own name. As I’ve decided to go exclusive with Amazon on those, that’s where I’m focusing all my effort. If the new KU plan works out to be worse than the old one (not sure how that could happen) I’ll ‘go wide’, but to be honest, right now going wide isn’t really worthwhile, as the other book sellers are seriously screwing up.

        • I get a few sales. Then, the effort was “check off the venues on the list” so I can say it was minimal.

    • As someone who writes trashy romance (and other things, but the romance sells better) my sales died across the board once KU came out, to the point where the only way to make ANY money was to enroll in KU. With the change in pay structure, it looks like KU is going to cut my income by about 90% so I’m trying the other vendors again. The heartburn of the last few days has not been fun.

      • Yeah, I saw all the romance writers complaining about KU, but then a lot of them were charging top dollar for their works. Romance readers are a LOT more willing to part with their dollar than SF&F readers, and their prices are on average double that of a same sized SF&F ebook. So it’s not surprising that the readers all went to KU, so they could read lots more, for ‘free’.

        And that of course led to all the scamphlet writers going into KU, and a lot of romance writers turning 200 page books into ten 20 page books (or twenty 10 page books) and charging 2.99 for each one.
        So at 1.35 a download, suddenly they were getting $13 (or even $26) per story. And none of the KU readers complained, because it was all ‘free’ for them, so they’d download by the thousands and you had a lot of romance writers suddenly making 10K a month and crowing about what great writers they were, and the hundreds of sales a day they were making.

        Well, Amazon was only going to put up with that kind of abuse for so long until they put an end to it. Me personally, I’m pretty happy about all those people getting what they deserved, even if it took a year for it to happen. As an SF&F writer, I saw no change at all in my sales when KU came out. Most SF&F people aren’t willing to pay the $10 a month (or whatever it is now) extra to get KU. My blue line rarely went above my redline, but now with the changes, if they do pay out what people are guessing, I’ll see a decent increase in my KU payouts, because I write novels almost exclusively, so I already have the page counts.

        • It just sucks to be forced into an ecosystem and then screwed because the way it was set up was particularly suited to reward the way you already worked. I’m glad others are going to be better rewarded for the work they’re doing but having profited from the previous system does not make romance writers bad writers or bad people. Being prolific in a system that rewards it also isn’t abuse. If you can write a short story a day, why not do so? Most of the writers I know who can and do work like that have a work ethic and business savvy that would do the old pulp writers proud. They’ll adjust their strategies to what works but going from $10k a month to $1k hurts.

          And yeah, Romance readers read a lot. Like, a book a day a lot. Sometimes more. Most writers have to scramble to keep up and actively promote other writers to keep their fans happy. There’s a lot less of that in SF&F.

          • Having not spent much time studying the changes to KU, doesn’t it just mean you get paid for each page the borrower reads?

            I’m not trying to be insulting here, but the way I understand it is, to assume that you are going to lose 90% of your income, does that mean that you expect your readers to only read 10% of what they borrow? Or am I missing something that makes a big difference?

            • bearcat, you’re missing that Amazon set the per-page pay to reward long more than short. If we compare the $1.38 / borrow of KU 1.0 to the $00.057 / page of the new system, then folks who write stories over 47,000 words (assuming they’re all read to completion) will make the same, and folks who write longer stories will do even better than that.

              Unfortunately, the short story writers won’t, and the serial writers are going to take the hardest hit, because they optimized for per-borrow reads.

              So, if a romance writer put up a 12-part serial story at 3K words per installment under the old system, a reader going all the way through would result in $16.56 to the author… but under the new system, they’ll make $1.83

              A scifi author who wrote a 150,000 word story under the old system, made $1.38/borrow, and was likely to pull the novel out as the amount per borrow kept dropping. Under the new system, they’re making $2.32 / borrow, assuming it’s read all the way through.

              Let’s summarize from dramatic impact:
              Old system
              Author 1 – 36,000 words, $16.56
              Author 2 – 150,000 words, $1.38

              New System
              Author 1 – 36,000 words, $1.83
              Author 2 – 150,000 words, $2.32

              • I can’t make the second set of numbers work for me – if the author is paid on page count, then how can Author 2 only expect 27% more income for nearly three times the word count (which would presumably translate into nearly the same multiplier of pages)?

                • First off, it’s not based on word count. I know people think it is, I wish it was, but it’s not. It’s based on page count, and the page count is being developed by some programmers who are not terribly bright (people are already figuring out how to game page count, which shows that they were not terribly bright about how they did it).
                  Now yes, the 150K book will probably have about triple the page count of the multiple books that make up the 36K books. but we really won’t know for sure how it’s going to work out until Amazon actually starts paying out money.
                  Also no one has any idea of what the payout for page is going to be. People are guessing 0.0057 cents per page, but it’s just a guess. Amazon can (and has in the past) adjust payouts at anytime.

                  The reasons for the change were these two: 1) stop scams/gaming 2) encourage real novels vs short stories.

                  That’s really all you need to know. How successful it is, we won’t know for at least six to twelve months.

              • Seems like shorter still pays better.

            • It gets complicated and I’m sure some of the numbers we’re seeing are because the page counts are still glitchy. I have a story that sells for $2.99 which means I make about $2.08 when someone reads it and used to make about $1.30 for a borrow. On a full read through, it made 15 cents, assuming half a cent per page. With the word count, that means it’s 400+ words per page, which is what a lot of other erotica and erotic romance authors are reporting. Other genres are getting anywhere from 125 to 250 words per page. Since nobody has heard back that those numbers are wrong, and we’ve all contacted Amazon, that’s what we have to go with.

              And even though short stories have a much higher read through rate than novels (which hit about 60%), you can’t assume a 100% read through rate because there have been more than 1 rep who has said they don’t count prologues, epilogues and back matter. It starts on Chapter 1, you get the “normalized” page count and you like it.

              But still, they’re short stories and novellas. A 5,000 word short that has a 250 words/page count has 20 pages. That’s 10 cents.

          • Yes, I agree it sucks, but a lot of those people brought it on themselves, and it was clearly coming. I said it more than once that Amazon is not going to continue with the program the way it is, because it’s losing them money.

            While I can’t ‘blame’ amazon for doing something as stupid as they did, I can blame whoever came up with the formula for the old payout system. I suspect they had no understanding of computers or human nature, probably a business major. Because these things have happened before in computing, and the stories are legend.

            As for what to do, if you’re pulling out of KU, definitely give B&N a shot. Romance is big over there, and people do get sales over there that rival their Amazon sales. A lot of that is because B&N doesn’t censor, ANYTHING, while Amazon loves to censor the indies (but not those pubbed by the big six. I mean look at GRRM, he’s got a book with a bestiality scene in it, if an indy did that, they’d be banned! He also has lots and lots of rape. Indies aren’t supposed to do that either).

        • And what, pray tell, do they deserve?

          • The ones who were scamming the system deserve to be forced to learn how to write books/stories that people will read to the end.

            The short story / novella business model can still work, and work well, but you’re not going to be making 10K a month via KU for it, unless you produce a lot of it, and it’s quality. Producing something with the goal of only getting people to read past 10% has finally died. Thankfully.

  14. Aren’t you supposed to be resting, woman? Don’t overdo, please.

    That’s wonderful. I’ve decided to get KU for my birthday this year.
    Usually, when I manage to connect a Hun with his work, I go and look for free ones, to read and review. I have very little discretionary spending, by choice. The whole Galt thing. Anyway, I notice many of you are listed in KU so I’m going to invest in a years worth and see how it goes.
    I don’t suppose they give a discount for long term subscriptions?

    Fireworks are legal here in Maine, shrug. My preferred option, which I took, was to step out the back door and inject several pounds of lead into the center of a log in the backstop, 200g at a time. Seems many of my neighbors share the same preference, though a few had some fireworks.

    Strangely, we don’t get many sightseers.

  15. Have you considered a good quality respirator? They can filter out the VOCs and maybe cut down a lot on the response.

    • I should add there are issues with it, and periodically I remove it entirely.

      • Here’s what you need: http://amzn.to/1CgCUvf (and since WP doesn’t expand Amazon links any more, I’ll summarize) It’s a respirator hood on a long hose with a forced air fan. I’ve used something similar, but much more expensive at work. They’re actually really comfortable. You can put the fan/filter unit in another room entirely and have cool, clean air flowing around your entire head, and no straps to deal with.

        Probably a bit expensive for the short term, but you might find out if you can rent something like it. Look for a “Supplied air respirator” if you can. Usually the hood portion is cheaply replaceable.

  16. karllembke

    Reading this while sitting the Loscon 42 table at Westercon.
    No sign of fireworks last night, except for some flashes against the clouds in the distance.
    Well, there were the young, drunk, and stupid men* in the upper level balcony room who were throwing glass objects through windows and thought it would be fun to drop water bottles next to pedestrians on the walkway below. It set off one member’s PTSD and the security guards took up positions outside the room to keep the men confined until the police got there to escort them elsewhere. Maybe that counts as “fireworks”?

    * Fortunately, NOT members of the convention!!!

  17. FlyingMike

    Here in the heart of Silicon Valley suburia all that sparkly stuff is
    völlig verboten, so with the closest legal fireworks for sale about an hour and a half drive away and only of the “safe and sane” variety, one might be led to expect a quiet 4th. One would be wrong.

    Last night starting about 5pm and lasting until well after midnight we had a passable reenactment of the first night of bombing Baghdad in 1991. At least they seemed to refrain when helicopters passed overhead, either through common courtesy or in the apprehension that they were law enforcement helos.

    For several previous years the arms race in July 4th fireworks seemed to be simply in size of bang. This year the game was considerably upped into brightness, color and height of aerial displays. Some of the stuff I saw from my backyard would have fit fine ni a professional display. Overlayed with the distant (and not so distant) thunder of the multiple official displays across the Santa Clara Valley and you get a lot of noise celebrating independance.

    The Violinist was carpooling back from a gig in Monterey after dark, and she said they had continuous and sustained fireworks visible for the entire trip.

    There’s hope for California yet.

    • I admit to being of two minds about that. On the one hand, I live in a state with high fire danger and am well aware of how much damage might be done by a stray firework starting something in a place already suffering from drought.

      On the other hand…that was a beautiful, colorful middle finger to the regulatory state. Long live Independence!

  18. Los Angeles County has banned fireworks and treated to send the sheriff to enforce it. It was like the battle fo Baghdad.

    • Threatened no sheriff deputy appeared and we are two blocks away from s sheriff sub-station

      • quarter mile away from the substation, and we had a neighbor launching pro grade fireworks, they don’t even bother to check.

        (probably not the same substation)

  19. Amazon has made kindle so easy I don’t even try anything else. I’ve always hated BN anyway so never even got into nook. My mom has a nook that she never uses because she hates the way it’s set up but she likes my kindle. Sarah thanks for going out you’ve made my week.

  20. “I don’t relish the idea of going up on a ladder to second floor height.”

    Yeah don’t be doing that, Sarah. Female, 50+, recent ab surgery, you’ve gotta be kidding me.

    I used to be a pro painter, I used 30′ ladders all the time on third floor windows. (Not the sucky 20 footers you get at Home Depot. I’m talking three rows here.) Hated it, but did it. Three row ladders are terrifying. I’d usually rig a rappelling rope before I’d resort to those bloody things.

    Now I’m old and out of practice, I hire these things done. I -can- do it, but I -won’t- do it. Because the likelihood of me blowing a ligament or a disk or something is large, and after 50 you don’t heal well. Also a fall at 50+ years will be SO much worse than at 25.

    Don’t do it. Stay the hell off the ladder. It would be better if the whole house burnt to the ground than if you fell off that thing.

    • Seconded. I used to run a roofing crew. No more ladders for me. Approaching 60 my balance is not what it once was.

    • A friend fell off a ladder while trying to fix a gutter on the second story. I don’t remember what he landed on, but it was pretty much a worse-case scenario – broken pelvis, back, neck, both legs, fractured skill, and all sorts of fun internal damage.

      He was on his feet and walking (well, gimping about with a walker) three or four months later, but rehab was a long tough slog.

      • am 50 plus female. tripped and fell on wet ground at libertycon. broke both shoulders. i iz now broken. hopefully fix in 6 weeks.

        • I’m sorry. I hope you have a good physical terrorist, and that your paid-torture has steady, smooth progress.

        • Take care and get well soon!!!

        • Oh, wow. Hope your recovery goes well.

          • snelson134

            It’s been interesting. The last week has been rough on us both, since she wasn’t sleeping more than a couple hours at a time…. and neither was I. 😎

            That’s started to get better as she’s gotten used to the slings, but the bottom line is she needs a full time caregiver… and I ‘m it. I went out this Saturday to get groceries and meds, came back an hour later and she had literally slid out of bed. We ended up having to call the paramedics since I couldn’t lift her.

  21. Christopher M. Chupik

    You should definitely hire mercenaries, Sarah. Just remember to pay them in full when you’re finished. They tend to get irritable when their employers stiff them.

  22. For those of you finding far too few microaggressions in your lives, http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2015/07/two-unrelated-things.html
    has the cure in the link to the second item, Everything’s A Problem. Laughing is a wonderful response to any claimed microaggression. (Don’t thank me; thank the assistant village idiot.)

  23. One more thing: For those with cats, there’s Henri at
    http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2015/07/henri.html

  24. USA wins women’s soccer (football) World Cup! Whee!! It was a good game.

    • There are too many dang immigrants in this country, not only are they making soccer mainstream, but they actually have people accepting that insult to real football.

      OH, and you kids, get off my lawn!

  25. … I stayed up late formatting my husband’s book for publication.

    Sounds like a party to me. Par-tay, par-tay, par-tay …

  26. Have you tried iBooks Author? I messed with it a little at work, but not enough to have a firm opinion.

  27. I picked both of those books up (On the strength of your Wise Owl book.) I’ll see if I can convert them to ePub later.

  28. Off Topic, but ran across this at Instapundit:
    http://www.triggerwarning.us/why-pretty-girls-hate-being-asked-out-on-dates-by-nerds/ (Or, Why [Some/Many] HS Girls Are So Damned Shallow.)

    • Meh. I was pretty, once, and I was looking for a mathematician. They’re out there!

    • The logic fail is so strong…
      Quote:
      But everyone knows that shy nerds fear rejection, so the nerd would only ask out a girl if he thinks there is a significant chance that the girl would say yes, so being asked out by a nerd signals not only that he finds you attractive but that he’s calculated that you will accept him.

      Or that he feels so strongly that he is willing to risk it. Because she’s worth it.

      Not that a high schooler looking for a reason to reject a guy is going to think….

      • “Men fall in love with their eyes; women fall in love with their ears.”

        • FlyingMike

          …and politicians fall in love with their own voice.

        • That is MUCH more complimentary than the version I learned. “Men fall in love women, women fall in love with bank accounts.”

          • Perhaps not as true. It’s been my experience that women value a well-spoken intelligent man over a boorish cad with cash. At least the ones worth having.

            • It sounds like excuse finding to me….
              Oh well, one of these days I’ll actually find a useful way to inform the “women only want jerks” guys that telling that to a half-dozen married couples is a pretty major insult. Although my husband can be quite an effective jerk to those who deserve it, by his measure…..
              Someday. Probably not soon. 😀

              • What sounds like excuse finding?

                • The “women fall in love with bank accounts” one.

                  It may not be all well spoken, intelligent men– but the eyes/ears one is much more true. The content of the words matters, too.

                  It’s hard enough communicating between the sexes without, say, this guy:

                  instead going “oh, she just left me because he has more money.”

                  A lot of guys are not so good with saying they love their love; they “say” it by being there, and often doing things, and not saying things they think will upset her. A lot of women need to hear it, same as they will say it, and give gifts to “say” it. (applies outside of romance, too)

                  The older I get, the more annoyed I get at stuff that damages the already strained lines of communication between the sexes. (probably related to figuring out how much of what I say, non-Odds simply don’t hear)

                  • Aaah, I grok you now. 🙂 While I do understand females like to hear words of love, hence my saying they fall in love with their ears, let me put in an argument for actions.

                    It’s trivially easy to say,”I love you.” Less so to demonstrate it daily. When a baby cries at night, and a mother (or father), exhausted, crawls out of the bed and trudges to the crib to feed/change/comfort the child, that is a physical manifestation of love truer than a word could ever be.

                    I know men that will tell you they “love” their wife, but lie to them. Women say they “love” their kids, but won’t sacrifice a social lifestyle to educate them, or even be so unselfish as to have any in the first place. Because stretch marks, vacations, etc. There are times in any relationship when you don’t have the love feels. In the end, love is an action. It matters not only what you say, but also what you do.

                  • Mostly it is because of what people learn at the beginning of the mating process.

                    Girls start playing the “whose attention can you attract” sooner than do the boys and, generally, remain playing in a league above (most of) the guys for a good long while. There are several reasons for this, such as earlier maturation (physically and emotionally) and the ability to “play up” as older guys pay attention to them. In the beginning stages the fact that older guys usually carry significant superficial benefits (car, spending money) usually matters.

                    Additionally, insecure High School girls (and nearly all are, although some hide it more effectively and many redirect their insecurity into “Heathers” type games) are dating primarily for the social status it earns; they are learning and establishing their social market value. It is significantly in their interest to raise that value to the maximum possible. But keep in mind: they are not seeking potential mates and they values they express are not those relative to mating finding a mate.

                    Guys often misread these behaviours because their loins are expressing a single overwhelming demand (see recent Instapundit item about the “I wanted to do them all” experience of a woman on testosterone) and are not yet (generally) mature enough to know what is important in a mate. In time they “catch up” to the ladies (mostly) and develop a higher standard of discretion than social status (one reason “trophy wives” are derided is that they not only constitute a “hostile takeover” threat for wives but for other guys they convey a message of the husband’s immaturity.)

                    It is similar to the way in which people first drink to get drunk and (it is hoped) develop tastes and preferences and connoisseurship, drinking for the pleasure of the beverage rather than the inebriation.

                    Sadly, too many in today’s culture never evolve beyond High School, nor recognize that the potential partners they are looking at have also evolved.

                    • Sadly, too many in today’s culture never evolve beyond High School, nor recognize that the potential partners they are looking at have also evolved.

                      /amen

                      Or realize that they COULD advance, sadly.

                    • seems like for some men the ideal traits in a woman are the size of her boobs and how easily she’ll let them into her pants.

                    • FlyingMike

                      The whole assortative selection thing has all kinds of weird corners too – I’m 6’4 and I’ve been that tall since high school, and I always heard about the “I want a tall guy” thing during my now-long-past years of availability, but I never received many interest vibes (yeah, OK, likely clueless, but still), and certainly none from the “I want a crick in my neck from talking to him” direction.

                      Now that I’m old enough to have earned all these grey hairs, and am emphatically off any sort of assortation market – and as far as females are concerned my wife will testify that I’m still plenty clueless – I pick up on a lot more interest from a lot more women than back when I was a tall, dark haired, reasonable well paid thirty-something professionally employed silicon valley tech nerd.

                      Honestly, it’s weird.

                    • If a woman lets her boobs into her pants, that is a turnoff for a lot of guys.

              • My experiences have been that most/many women complain about their husbands “not what they wanted.” I don’t see it much among fans, but mundanes a lot. I also still see a lot of “I want men with money, fancy clothes, etc.,” among fans. Among fans I see 10% complaining about “he doesn’t . . . ,” while among mundanes it’s 70+%. Of course, most of the “fans” are married/in a committed relationship, so that skews it.
                I do still see evidence of the “majority” believe whatever the “guy” tells them. Even when experience should tell them that it’s to “get in their pants.”
                I’m Sixty mumble years old, and I quit “looking” years ago. Too many woimen saying. “I want guys that pay attention to my needs/wants/feelings, because it’s more important than what they drive/how much they have/how they look.” Then, they only “associate” with the handsome, free spending guys that only care about themselves. The guys that _do_ act like so many claim they want, are always. #10, on list of 2-3 for those that they want to hang with (unless they think no one else will want them).
                _My_ answer, when a woman complains. “There aren’t any ‘good ones’ out there.” “All of us ‘good guys’ got tired of being told we weren’t good enough. So, we left the field to the ones you made it clear that most women really valued. Being the friend that you call at 2:00 A.M., when the ‘boyfriend’ dumped you, for someone else, or the guy that walked to convenience store to get you an OJ, after a long trip, didn’t mean anything to you. When the guy with muscles, or money, called and you couldn’t get to him fast enough, *we got the real message.*
                All the women who really mean what they said, got snapped up fast, because there are so few. Not that most men are much better. “Big Boons, small brains, are what we want.” I’ve said it before, and will again. The ones like women “claim” they want, are out there. We just don’t have high paying jobs (or we’d be married off), fancy cars, “advanced social graces” (lie well), because we actually see women as people, not conquests. we look for permanence, and companionship, not just sex. We see love as based on friendship and respect, not just an emotion. I’m *glad* so many women here, found worthwhile guys. A _lot_ of us stopped looking.

                • Sadly, so did a lot of the good gals here.

                  Part of why I get so upset about promoting the misunderstandings.

                  The manipulators… I can’t fix. They’ll stay in circulation forever, because that is their goal.

                  But I can at least try to get folks to speak the same language.

                  (It does get annoying when folks claim they’re looking for X, but by behavior are looking for D.)

                  • Lol. I think you mean looking for XXX.

                  • So long as people (of whatever sex) demonstrate a willingness to pay for a 50-lb. bag of horse s(n)it instead of holding out for the mature manure, the market for manure will stay depressing and the gardens folks plant will get burned.

                    Sadly, the raw stuff has been selling so well for so long that nowadays hardly anybody knows what the good stuff is like, and consequently it often goes wasted.

                    Do you know, there are still some people around what know the difference between dating and courting?

              • ” Oh well, one of these days I’ll actually find a useful way to inform the “women only want jerks” guys that telling that to a half-dozen married couples is a pretty major insult. ”

                Foxfier,

                I was repeating the way I had heard the saying, not claiming it was true. And I noted it was not complimentary, ie insulting. Oh there are certainly cases where it is true, and I would say a lot more women marry men for their money than men marry women for theirs; but certainly not all, or even a majority of women do so.

                • I was repeating the way I had heard the saying, not claiming it was true.

                  I know, I’ve heard variations elsewhere.
                  Thus the observation about the implications of saying it to married folks. 😀

              • More like, the broken ones want broken ones, imo.

      • snelson134

        The fail here is a legal system that allows the offended to convert offense into jail time and ruining someone’s life.

        • Pretty dang sure that’s not happening to nerds who ask the girls out in the middle of class.

          • And then you have the girl nerds who were never asked out, go to HS reunions and after 20 years hear “Man, I wish I’d asked you out back in HS!” As his wife is chatting to someone else. *SIGH*

            • That’s right up there with the time in college that I was talking with a girl I had had a giant crush on in High School, and told her I had really wanted to ask her out back then, but I was too chicken. She said, “You should have. I would have gone out with you.”

              Of course, by then she was engaged. At least he’s a decent guy, and not a jerk, so I can be happy for them instead of feeling even more stupid.

            • Teenaged boys are stupid that way. I was too.

      • Nerds are used to rejection, so why not start at the top?

        From the high-school-male perspective, acceptance is close enough to a random event that agonizing over choices is a waste of time.

        • Rejection as-a-matter-of-course is different than rejection when you’ve made an effort.

          From a high school female perspective, being passively rejected (not considered worth asking) is likewise. Pratchett even wrote about the effect.

      • And here:

        But nerds are smart and socially aware enough [emphasis mine] to realize their own unpopularity and so when a nerd asks a girl on a date he is clearly signaling to everyone that he thinks the girl shares his low status.

        Nerd? Socially aware? Since when? He might know he’s low on the totem pole, because he’s been told so many times, but all that does is fuel his shyness. It doesn’t translate into any thought of the girl he likes sharing his status, because he’s socially clueless.

        • I was pretty sure that article was some kind of parody.

        • True.

          Plus, ironically enough, nerds are less likely to view everything in the “status” format used in the article– even if you assume that it’s a proxy for the emotional contamination format, no geek I’ve met thinks that way. Some PUA blogs I’ve read might…..

  29. BTW, I was just reading an article that says that in the 90’s Fireworks were banned in 30 states, not it’s just three (Massachusetts, NY and New Jersey, all the usual no-fun states).

  30. Know I’m a day late here, but I just got finished reading Mark Steyn’s article on “Insufficiently Independent to Hold an Independence Day Parade,” and I can’t help thinking that he would strongly approve of your younger son’s solution to the fireworks problem.

  31. Is Baen down? Site won’t load for me.

  32. Forget it. It just loaded.

  33. Short stories, get ‘yer short stories! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011364AEQ

  34. RES, I think I worked in that bar, decades later, after it was moved to SW Houston. 🙂
    http://viastellarum.antville.org/stories/25423

    • I’ve seen others who handle mace like the guy you mentioned. I know MP’s have to be dosed with it in training and I think the stats are something like 5% it doesn’t bother and something like another 10-15% can still function fine.

      • I think I’ve mentioned before that the resistance to military grade mace with NO PRIOR EXPOSURE is high enough that they’ve got a procedure they have to follow every bloody time– and all of the guys in the “confidence chamber” develop enough resistance to that (stronger than civilian grade mace) smoke to talk without even coughing.

        That said, the guy who responded to “Rusty” reads more like a guy who’s on drugs than someone who’s got immunity by nature or exposure, but it could also be just him responding with “you just tried to cause me major pain. I kill you, now.”

        My “I have time to think” response is that he should’ve used that hold where you get your arm under someone’s chin, elbow pointed between their boobs, and squeeze– cuts off blood faster than choking. (I don’t know how to do it, because I am tiny and not insane. The Marines got a lot of fun out of using it on eachother, though, and wow does it work fast.)

        • The one time I encountered mace (overspray, I was dragging a buddy away from a fight and the security guard severely dosed the other guy when he tried to go through the security guard to get back into the fight) it didn’t bother me much. I would have assumed I just didn’t get enough to affect me, and I could feel it, it just not enough to bother me, but my buddy was much more severely affected. I assume it would still work on me if I got a direct dose, but apparently he was more susceptible than I am.

          On the other hand I have seen drunk Marines take civilian grade pepper spray, and once the illegal for civilian use Mace (smuggled across the border from Mexico) and open their mouth and use it like that minty breath spray they used to make.

          • Going off of my reaction to my husband’s coveralls when he got his yearly macing (to certify for using it… when they weren’t allowed to be issued it in Japan), and the reaction of other wives to their husband’s mace clothes, you are probably one of the naturally resistant.

            Doesn’t mean it would be FUN to get sprayed, but does mean that if you were aiming to kill someone, and they sprayed you with mace, you’d have a chance of reacting like it was water.

        • I trained with it, and sufficient pressure on the carotid artery and it’s lights out a very few seconds later. However. Rusty wasn’t exactly Marine Corps eligible, for myriad good and sufficient reasons.