Get Rich Slowly

My older son, who is about to start medschool, supposing he ever has time to get an apartment and stuff, in between helping me scrape and wax floors, and clean tile, was talking to me in the car on the way to the other house about some creative project of his, and said “It’s another strand in my grand weave of ‘get rich slowly.'”

Years ago when talking to a colleague who is a friend (okay, somewhere between friend and mentor and squee, but never mind) he told me of one of the biggest writers in the field, now deceased that “he always ran scared” monetarily.

It might astonish the people outside this field because that author at one time got the biggest till then advance ever for a book and it was in the tens of millions, but those advances are tricksy.  Some of my friends have got “millions of dollar” advices that in the end translate to a median salary a year (broken up into tiny pieces) and then get cut off when the book fails to sell better than the bible, or whatever.

For many years that was the way writers lived.  And even those of us who were doing well — turning in stuff, getting advances — could be brought low by an illness or a long silence.  Particularly int he nineties and the oughts, backlist was often ignored, while being jealously held onto by the publisher.

When we embarked on this and Dan gave up his music so one of us — me — could pursue her artistic thing while the other one — him — had the steady income and the 9 to 5 job (and I’ll confess to you it probably never would have happened if we hadn’t had the kids.  I couldn’t justify staying home to write and sacrificing him, knowing my chances of success were zilch.  But, working a little harder and building a career while the kids were napping and then at school?  That I could do.) we agreed the odds of ever succeeding at any level were very low.  Realistically, I’m an ESL speaker, with iconoclastic reading (and viewing) tastes, an unsociable disposition and ABSOLUTELY no contacts in the field before I broke in.  Oh, yeah, then there was the political thing.

Well, it did take me 16 years, but I broke in, and when I’m working steadily I make about as much as I would make if I got a job as a secretary (even an international secretary.  Doesn’t pay very well in CO) or an assistant lecturer.  (Okay, that might make just a little — a very little, depending on the college — more money, but I also would be billiard ball bald by now from filling all the forms.)

The problem is that working steadily part.  It’s not just the health issues that swallowed the last two years.  This isn’t even a #waronwomen thing, because I hear the same from writing friends who are male.  It’s a #workingfromhome thing.  When you work from home, by default, you end up getting all the debris of family life tossed at you.  Cleaning and cooking (which are much easier in a suburban house than in a big, ramshackle Victorian) but also stuff like “We need to get the house ready for sale” which has eaten the last two and a half months.  It’s probably worsened in my case because I know some carpentry and am a jack-leg almost everything.

Between one thing and the other every writer I know has interruptions in their output and we have no pensions, nothing that pays when we’re not giving 100% to the job.  So it seemed to be every writer’s destiny to “run scared” until one day suddenly they had enough property accumulated that, when they died, it was just enough to cause a big fight amid their kids for the additional income.

This has changed with Amazon and publishing indie.  I can see a path to having enough to actually retire on eventually and the creek don’t rise.  (Not that I intend to retire, but you know what I mean.  Enough to look after me when I’m older and even more sickly.)

Of course, the problem now is getting done with the house and all the other stuff, and being able to write.  Yes, it’s happening, slowly. Hopefully, please G-d, these are the last two days.

But it’s not just writing.  My sons have dipped toes in art and gaming, and some of their friends are making money from podcasts and indie music.  The point is that if you are a creative, this is a great time to be alive.  You can reach the public directly and because “the public” is so large, even a small success is enough to live on, more or less.

Hence the older son’s “get rich slowly” streams which include starting work in many small fields and running it over many decades, so eventually it amounts to something.

Not to say everyone will succeed.  It still requires concentration and effort.  But it is, at least a possibility.

And eventually I’ll get done with this, and I’m starting to think “A novel a week.  Has to be easier than waxing floors.” (yeah, yeah, I know, but maybe finishing one a month? I mean a lot of them are started.)

I got back the rights to Sword and Blood last week, and the next book is a couple of days from being done.  I don’t know when I’ll have time to do the third, and since the three are an integral whole, I wouldn’t expect them before next year.  I’m also still editing the Heart and Soul books.

I must get done with the house, so I can write.  We are also now at the tipping point when getting someone to do things while I write to pay for it MIGHT work, since they’re things I don’t know how to do, like tiling.  I could figure it out, but it’s probably CHEAPER to pay someone to do it and write to pay for it.  So, two days.

Part of the problem with two days is that I set Dan’s first book on pre-order for the 19th and I intended to do a full-court press for it leading up to release, as well as typeset it, and of course none of it has happened.

And I need his book to do well, or he won’t write anymore, and I’ll be left alone to manage the “get rich slowly” stuff.

Really, it would be much easier if there are two of us rowing this galley.

So anyway, his book is not political at all, and it’s just fun, if any of you are interested.  (I am trying to forestall here the “Husband of libertarian writer hankers for the return of Rome.”  Mostly he wanted to create a messy intriguy — totally a word — environment that could get his characters in a heap of trouble. It’s not even very Rome accurate.  It’s “idiots try to recreate Rome in the future, but only get the strange parts.”)

And no that’s not — precisely — a copyrighted ship.  I modeled it.  And I made the cover, so deal with that too.

Anyway, if you are so inclined, order or promote, I’d like to push up its rank before official release.

As I said, I want it to do well, so he’ll write more weekends and evenings (and btw, considering this is his first novel, he’s way better than I.  My first written novel, I’ve just destroyed every copy of that I could find.  Think For Us The Living.  No, seriously.  Only worse.)  Because with both of us on getting rich slowly, we might get to the point I never have to paint a wall again.  (If I want to it’s different but I don’t want to HAVE to do this again.)

And now — hey, do you hear a drummer keeping time? — I’m going to go clean/wax so I can return to rowing this unwieldy boat this weekend.

166 responses to “Get Rich Slowly

  1. If you modeled it, it’s still a copyrighted ship — yours. That’s a pretty nice cover.

    • Sorry, I disagree, it looks too much like a copyrighted ship.

      • If everyone is alluding to it looking like the Millennium Falcon, I just annoyed the heck out of my husband by having him look at it.

        He (without any suggestion or even CONTEXT– thus the “massively annoying” thing) described it as a flying saucer with a chunk dug out for guns.

        I only thought “Millennium Falcon” because she mentioned being worried about the ship, and that being the only “round, with guns” ship I could think of.

        • For those keeping score at home, he’s the Wars in our mixed Star marriage.

        • I didn’t even think of the Falcon. Closest I could come was a top-down view of the Cylon Raider (from the original Battlestar Galactica series), but the ship on the cover doesn’t look flat enough for that.

          • yes. People thought it was a Cylon, which upset me, because I rendered it!

            • Patrick Chester

              Just don’t have it do that evasion pattern from the original show. It never works. 🙂

            • It’s the combination of shape and stripes that makes me think Cylon Raider. Not instantly, but after a few seconds. (FWIW I had the toy, and shot the little red plastic missiles at Sib until the family Fire Control Officer took away my ammunition access for unlawful target selection.)

              • That is totally unfair! There are no laws against sibling abuse! Anywhere! Child abuse? Yes. Spousal abuse? Yes. Elderly abuse? Yes. Sibling abuse? Nope, not a one. Totally legal. I used to joke about that in the CCW classes I taught with my sister.

              • Patrick Chester

                I had the toy, before they disabled the projectile-shooting ability due to some noise about choking hazards.

  2. …an unsociable disposition…

    Huh? Really? Honestly, I never noticed. I would have described you as the exact opposite.

  3. That was easy. Preordered. He’s getting published older than you did, so it’s not a fair comparison to your first. He’s had a lot of time to think about things.

    Best of luck with YOUR indie career, too, as much as you love your publisher.

    And give thanks that you can actually do all that house stuff. I can’t any more, and I actually miss it. I put together a desk chair yesterday, all the time wondering if it is the last piece of furniture I will ever assemble. Why? Because it was a literal pain in the neck. And hands. And back. And I kept dropping the Allen wrench. OTOH, it’s a nice chair, and the old one kept dumping me (dead pneumatic cylinder).

    Hope you get back to writing soon. You are much less cranky when writing – it’s good for you.

    Best,
    Alicia

    • Whot she said. It seems like exactly the kind of book I’ll like.

      If you send me an advance copy, I’ll do a TIAT comic review (I love drawing futuristic antiquities: do you remember the AustenBot + space kittens on the cover of the SFWA members directory?) for my Aug review & cross post to amazon

      Also! Don’t forget to get it set up so Overdrive can handle it: that way library systems can purchase it. Let me know if you need the basic how-to packet.

  4. On the matter of “‘millions of dollar’ advices that in the end translate to a median salary a year (broken up into tiny pieces)” …

    People often get taken in by the lump sum presentation and fail to translate it into annual amounts (or, conversely, make the opposite error, as when Democrats decried Reagan-proposed tax cuts as amounting to “no more than a pizza a week for a family of four” — and yeah, plenty of time an extra pizza a week would have helped tremendously, but I digress into bitter tears of bygone years…) — which is not to sneer, but to put into perspective.

    A recent example was Hillary Clinton’s claim that increased immigration would increase GDP by $700 Billion (intones: SEVEN HUNDRED Billion DOLLARS) over the next ten years. Or, by $70 billion a year, which in an economy the size of ours amounts to less than 1% growth (which, okay, is better that we’re currently getting but ain’t nothing to brag about.) Taken on a per capita basis that comes down to an extra $220 (rounded) a year per person. A little less impressive but still, better than what we’re getting, right?

    Of course, we achieve that by opening the borders and letting in an unknown number of immigrants (are they actually immigrants if they don’t come here to <I<become American?) which would further dilute that $220 a year by some undeterminable number, meanwhile depressing wages and increasing job competition (cough*H!B Visas*cough) for those of us who actually want to be Americans.

    So, beware those “lump sum” figures, especially when they encompass a period of years sufficiently significant that no sane person could attempt to predict the economy over that time.

    I mean, a dozen years ago Blockbuster and Borders were still thought of as good investments (IIRC – could be wrong) and a spot check of a listing of top 10 franchises in 2005 includes Domino’s Pizza and Curves.

    • Heck, five years ago, who would have predicted this:

      Adult coloring books selling like crazy

      NEW YORK — Adult coloring books are giving Harper Lee a run for the money on best-seller lists this summer.

      Dover Publications has sold more than 3 million adult coloring books with titles like “Flower Fashion Fantasies.” Quarto Publishing will have 1.3 million in print this year ranging from mandalas to fairies. “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt,” by one of the genre’s most popular illustrators, Johanna Basford, remains a top seller on Amazon two years after its initial publication.

      In fact, adult coloring books occupied as many of eight of the top 20 slots in a spot-check of Amazon’s best-seller list this week, including “Creative Cats” and “Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns.”

      “We cannot print them fast enough,” said Amy Yodanis, Quarto’s head of marketing. “We are getting orders of 60,000 at one time from some of our biggest retailers.”

      There are coloring clubs, coloring contests and a frenzy of coloring posts on social media. Parade magazine devoted a Sunday cover to the trend. Dover plans a national coloring book day on Aug. 2.

      RTWT

      • So is “Take It and Stick It’ on the fall TV schedule, or do we have to wait another year?

      • eboook version, photoshop, hey might provide some fun 😀

        • Are adults buying them for themselves or for older kids & younger teens who wouldn’t be caught dead with Dora or Disney (and who could blame them?)

          I know quite a few “Tweens” and younger teens who still enjoy those high-end “coloring books”

          OTOH it could be a cheaper version (Summer of Recovery, my Aunt Fanny) of paint-by-numbers. I never did understand why the Grups liked those…

          • When I was a teen, it was acceptable to get those fuzzy coloring posters– for similar reasons.

            I didn’t give a fig for what folks thought, but my stained glass one is probably still on the wall in my old room.

            • Costco has them. Next to the BOB books. I boggled. I hated with a passion having to color in other people’s pictures. Mom gave away bags of untouched coloring books at one point–I remember because I was in college and I made her.

      • I may need to adjust my internet habits. When you wrote “Adult Coloring Books” I went to ENTIRELY the wrong place. And the ones in Times Square back in the 70’s sucked.

        Um.

        Someone told me that.

        • Something tell me that though I have never seen one somewhere they must exist.

          • It is a sad fact of our Times that things labelled “Adult” are mostly suitable for adolescents, just as no true gentleman would enter a “Gentlemen’s Club.”

            Insert series of Carlin-swipes about driving on a parkway and parking in a driveway, etc.

            • No true gentleman would enter a gentlemen’s club for its purpose. To retrieve someone who entered it, maybe.

        • I was totally wondering if that’s what was meant by that.

        • I believe someone linked a kama sutra coloring book here a few years back.

      • Heh. I actually have the Johanna Basford Enchanted Forest coloring book. I find coloring relaxing.

    • “no more than a pizza a week for a family of four”

      Funny, that’s exactly what our splurging because I was tired and very pregnant was.

      Pizza, once a week. Although it was a family of five. (Papa Murphy’s Ten Dollar Tuesday; get the family size for two or three dollars more, and it’s two nights.)

  5. To add to the pressure I just ordered Dan’s book so NOW you really have to finish it.

    • Look what you’ve done!

      Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,768 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

      #889 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Galactic Empire
      #916 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Galactic Empire
      #963 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Military > Space Fleet

      • Good thing Sarah didn’t make the announcement yesterday . . . she might have broken Amazon! 😉

      • As of 5:31pm Central

        #20,158 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
        #172 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Galactic Empire
        #174 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Galactic Empire
        #194 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Military > Space Fleet

        Looking forward to the 19th!

        • So, I guess this is the first Huns Book Carp, then?

          (And yes, I preordered.)

          • Yep! And a mighty carp it is, too!

            at 10:27pm Central:
            Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,167 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
            #41 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Galactic Empire
            #45 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Galactic Empire
            #52 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Military > Space Fleet

    • Great, another Hoyt to victimize my wallet. Just what my wallet needed. And it will be near the top of the pile to be read…there’s a Green to finish and a Sanderson that must be read first. 🙂

      • me three

      • Preordered, you better finish it or count on incoming carp.

      • Oh, it’s ready. I just need to finish the paper version!

        • Ah, OK. Dan will be so happy — a tangible Opus 1 as well as a digital one. So it’ll be in my Paperwhite and my iPhone on the 19th. I’ve effectively not read anything to the end on paper in the last several years — my substandard eyesight copes much better with high-contrast screens than with hardcopy — but my daughter (!) still insists she prefers paper. (She got used to reading on paper since half of her reading is in Hebrew, and none of our devices properly support ebooks in RTL languages.)

    • Randy Wilde

      I just preordered, too.

      The description mentions “trollops”… How could I pass it up?

  6. Hence the older son’s “get rich slowly” streams which include starting work in many small fields and running it over many decades, so eventually it amounts to something.

    The reinvention of a renaissance man?

    • I think so. Most of the teachers at the school where I sub do other paying work: music, computer stuff, graphic arts, fine art, sewing, small engine repair, yard stuff. And even within the school, some teachers teach and do other stuff (usually tech support). Ditto folks I know at church, although I’m not sure ranchers and farmers have ever NOT had second and third income streams. I’d like to find a third income stream, but *shrug* life.

    • My thought, exactly. And with ever-changing technology, we all could stand to be more flexible in the fields we choose to work in. We’ll all have to be Renaissance Men, or we will be on welfare.

  7. I got back the rights to Sword and Blood last week…

    Yipee!

  8. his book is not political at all

    Well, screw that, then. If I wanted books with no politics I’d read Tor.

    I trust you get a kickback honorarium from Amazon for the linking of that book. I know it ain’t much and probably feels like double-dipping, but mind the pennies and the dollars take care of themselves, eh?

    Kindle only? Sigh. It makes sense, but I much, much, MUCH prefer my books on dead tree. There’s something so satisfying in knowing a tree gave its life for my amusement. Stupid future: I wanted a flying car and they are giving me electronic books.

    • I keep telling myself that the electronic book is one of the stepping stones to the flying car. And interstellar travel. It’s a theory, and it’s better than reality, so I’m happy. Mostly. Sorta. Well, it’s better than a kick to the groin by a wallaby. 🙂

      • I like them both. On-Dead-Tree (the couch says “hi”. Huh. Dear Lord, I’ve got to talk Q into giving him a guest spot… Anyhoo–) has great RH value, Kindle is more portable.

        • I was iffy on ebooks until three points sank in:
          1. I was reading a lot online anyway.
          2. Instant gratification! Books that I could get from the library without even going (or worrying about the return), Kindle freebies, KULL, actual purchases….
          3. As you say, portability. When I was a kid, my brother and I would each have a big tote bag full of books at our feet as essential equipment for every family vacation. Not a practical option on an airplane. But if I’ve got my laptop along anyway, or can bring a tablet or something….

    • I’m supposed to typeset it for dead tree and hoped to have it done by now, but it might be a week or so after ebook, because other house. Though I REALLY think that finishes tomorrow.

  9. And no that’s not — precisely — a copyrighted ship. I modeled it. And I made the cover, so deal with that too.

    Lovely cover, brings to mind the classic paperback covers of the 1950s and 60s.

  10. I will be preordering so I can be the first official reviewer. I beta-read this tale, and it’s well worth the read!

  11. It seems to be a good time for anybody who can do good work on a small scale. It doesn’t matter if you are cranking out indie SF novels or making repro Civil War field desks, you can advertise and distribute to a worldwide audience at dirt-cheap prices.

  12. ‘Jack-leg’ there’s an expression I haven’t heard in a while 🙂

    I’m trying to work up to a book a month. Unfortunately family problems surrounding the passing of my Father ate up two months, and now I’m horribly behind schedule.
    On the bright side I’m now writing 4 to 5 thousand words a day, so hopefully I will soon catch back up to that plan. I just wish I was better at promotion and knew of more places to advertise!

  13. c4c

  14. Pre-ordered. Turn Back the River, gone Interstellar? But sounds more like Imperial period.

    • No pressure here, Dan! 😀

    • It’s really light and fluffy. Again, it’s his first novel — however it’s fun, so way better than my first. And yes, it is Imperial. I’m afraid he’d been mainlining Saint and other picaresque novels.
      You know, I had to tear a copy of my very first novel out of older son’s hands. He was intending to hide it for nefarious purposes, I’m sure.

      • Probably going to blackmail someone with it, like threatening to slip it into the Baen slushpile and see what happens.

        • Ha ha. Hee hee. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Now, that would be truly funny. And evil. But especially funny.

  15. Also pre-ordered. And looking forward to reading it.

  16. For what it’s worth, about damn time.
    See, I beta read Dan’s book what, something like six months ago. Not knowing what I was doing at the time I gave him all sorts of copy edit input and a little bit about my perception of his work as a reader. As I recall I said it started a bit slow, but once it grabbed me it was an excellent read. I understand Dan did a bit of work on the intro perhaps based on my comment, but other than the obligatory copy edit final polish it was in my estimation ready for publication back then.
    I will certainly pick up a copy when it’s out if just to see the final version. I promise not to do a comparison with the earlier draft, at least not publicly.
    May be just because it’s been a while, but as I recall it was very political, just not our politics, but something else entirely. Almost like it was some kind of made up fictional future instead of a documentary.

  17. reddragonhawk

    Jumped on the pre-order bandwagon. Trying to spend a bit every month on indie books. So far you guys haven’t steered my wrong 😀

    • Hmmm. Would point you to the promo posts except that we haven’t had those for a few weeks. Hope it only means the oyster is busy. . .

      • reddragonhawk

        Yup, I look for the promo posts. I think I got Vulcan’s Kittens from one, for example.

    • BEWARE the indies! Too many times I’ve gone a bought one of THOSE books from THESE people and have missed a night of sleep followed by splurging on the rest of the books in the series the next morning!!! It’s truly heinous, the things this crowd has done to my credit card!

      • *washes tip of tail, looks innocent*

      • The best book review I ever got (and which I also felt really guilty about) was from a solider in either Iraq or Afghanistan during the war. He said he bought my book (one of the longer ones) for something to read while he was off duty, and ended up staying up all night and reading it thru because he couldn’t put it down.
        It was nice to hear that some poor grunt stayed up all night to read what I wrote, rather than get some valuable sack time, in a war zone.
        However I also felt really guilty, because he had to have been tired as hell the next day on patrol.

        • reddragonhawk

          I am family with men who go to war. Don’t feel guilty at all. Your story must have helped lift a bit of his burden and that’s a great thing. Be proud.

  18. Pre-ordered!

    If anybody is interested in Latin and in Rome, Fr. Reggie Foster (the retired and as eccentric as learned papal Latinist) is putting out a textbook, Ossa Latinitatis Sola (The Mere Bones of Latin). For the low, low pre-order price of 32 bucks, you get 800 paperback pages of both Classical and Ecclesiastical stuff. This includes his famous/infamous Latin homework assignments.

    (Sadly, it doesn’t include his famous guided tours of ancient Roman sites, or singing his Latin song about Julius Caesar’s death, written to the tune of Clementine, or his famous classes in turning you into a fluent Latin speaker instead of a halting dictionary-checker. Or the way he wears a blue coverall like a mechanic instead of a habit or academic clothes, or any of his other Odd ways.)

    Father says, “Every bum and prostitute in ancient Rome could speak Latin! You can, too!”

    • PS. Yes, the Amazon page looks really weird. Yes, Fr. Foster probably refused to put in or have put in anything about himself, like the whole Papal Latinist thing. Fr. Foster’s former students (of whom I, alas, am not one) are pushing this hard, in lieu of marketing. (He used to insist that people take his classes whether they could pay for credit or for auditing them or not, and whether a university was actually paying him or not, or indeed whether the university wanted him to teach; and hence he has a lot of ex-students forcing him to take their money now.) I think the other guy used to have a website providing pdfs of Fr. Foster’s homework materials from old classes, with Foster’s permission, and I think he’s one of the people who have been helping Father raise money to live off, since he got too sick to stay in Rome without family.

      • Looking for good Latin curriculum for 12 and 11 year old boys. Preferably emphasis on reading–though it would amuse the guitar teacher to get Latin spouted at him, especially if it were a bad pun in Latin.

        I need a really solid self-teaching curriculum because my Latin is next-to-non-existent (one year at nine, one semester in university) and the rest of the adults are worse.

        Is this what I want?

        • Well, the object of the course is to get people reading simple selections from Latin authors right away. The question is which selections from which Latin authors. If it’s the traditional Caesar, On the Gallic War, or something similarly non-gory and non-sexy, you’re good. But Fr. Foster was teaching adults, so it would be appropriate to include a mushy love poem that kids wouldn’t like, or even something racy like Apuleius’ pagan religion/fantasy novel, The Golden Ass.*

          However, a lot of the principles would probably be usable even if you end up having to replace certain reading selections.

          (Although reading things from classical Latin authors that are age-inappropriate has inadvertently encouraged many young language learners to enrich their vocabularies and gain reading fluency, obviously you don’t want to do that on purpose.)

          You do end up having to confront morality problems of other kinds, too. Obviously classical Latin literature from the late Republic and the Empire always has slaves around, and there’s a lot of conquest for the sake of spreading the Empire. Even early Christian, medieval, and Renaissance authors are going to have ideas that might not be totally consonant with the way you raise your kids. So there’s a lot of potential discussion and history material.

          OTOH, guys like Cicero and Seneca (and Cato’s Distiches, and various other “wisdom and morality” Roman guys, some very funny) were taught through the ages for a reason. If they taught a book to medieval schoolboys, you can probably teach it to modern ones.

          • If you have Amazon Prime free shipping, $32, and can afford to wait until September 8 to start teaching the kids Latin (and to find out what selections the man is using), then I’d say you should buy it and try it, if only to get yourself back up to speed.

            Otherwise, I’d say you should go with one of the Latin texts or series that are designed for homeschooling kids. Only get something like Wheelock’s Latin as a handy reference guide, and if you can get a copy super-cheap (like a buck). Wheelock’s is very old-school, but it’s basically designed to make you make up all your own learning aids.

            Just for fun, here’s the Sententiae (Sayings or Opinions) of Publilius Syrus, a Roman “mime” actor and playwright (mimes were comedy improv plays, and were performed in street areas, vacant lots, etc.). He was an ex-slave who made good. His Sayings are sometimes punchlines, but often are proverbs or other moral comments.

            • But at some point (and a pretty quick point), the kids are going to need to read something narrative in Latin, not just Roman proverbs or the Psalms or Roman horseraising hints, or whatever. Aesop (as translated into Latin by Phaedrus as Fabulae Aesopiae) got used a lot. The Aeneid gets in there at some point. Lucan’s Civil War also has a lot of action. Ovid’s Metamorphoses are good for learners in certain parts. Some of the Latijn historians are very neat, too.

              All this stuff about difficulty of selection and how they can illustrate grammar that the students have just learned — that is pretty specialized stuff that you probably should get from a textbook.

              But OTOH, once the kids have any Latin, they will be able to start reading all sorts of Latin things on the Internet, like bestiaries and other cool medieval and early modern books. (And btw, the more you search Google with Latin words, the better it will get at finding Latin quotes for you. But at first you’ll have to use tons of quotation marks around your quote, so that Google will learn that you mean what you type.) There’s a medieval essay on medieval Easter eggs out there, for instance.

              (If any of your kids get interested in medieval manuscripts, the magic word for finding info on weird handwriting styles and medieval Latin scribal abbreviations is “paleography.” There’s a nifty app that a UK university department made to help you learn how to make out what they were writing, that sort of thing.)

              Okay, now I’m really rambling.

              • * Anyway, The Golden Ass really is a good book with lots of keen Roman urban fantasy.. And it’s a good romance novel. And there’s sex scenes, mostly with slaves around the house, so this is not something to hand kids or even a lot of adults. (Okay, Lucius does try to establish consent with some, but slaves couldn’t exactly say no.) So yeah, I have to say that it’d be like teaching somebody English through reading an extremely charming and literary paranormal romance, except with most of the lower class characters being enslaved and nobody really caring or noticing. (So yeah, I like Lucius’ charming and beautiful writing, but his background creeps me out.)

                • Very helpful.
                  They won’t like the love poetry or anything sexual–those hormones just haven’t kicked in yet. The rest, well, probably not an issue. They’re boys, they like gory. Because of their skin tone and hair texture, the race mongers want to co-opt them, so we have hit history heavy, early, and hard. They are currently in the Crusades, in this book: http://books.wwnorton.com/books/The-History-of-the-Renaissance-World/ and I’m going to be in trouble by September because she hasn’t written the next.
                  Sounds like this would be a good curriculum for me (maybe after they’re all grown I’ll have time), and possibly for them after I check it out.

                • except with most of the lower class characters being enslaved and nobody really caring or noticing.

                  So, Star Wars with the droids?

                  (Yes, it really does creep me out, since by all evidence we’re offered I would consider them moral beings.)

              • Isn’t it true that depending on which era you pick, you’ll also have to contend with different dialects of Latin? Vulgate vs classical, forex?

                • Latin got a little screwy in the later Medieval period (See Huzinga’s book, most recent translation, for details) but for most readings the kids will be doing, I wager the difference would be pronunciation rather than vocabulary.

                  Why yes, yes I did compete in JCL vocal solo – liturgical pronunciation! How did you guess?

          • Golden Ass? Kim Kardashian was there? I saw a photo and hers did look golden in it. Certainly earning her enough.

    • Actually… the brainbusting homework assignments (“ludi domestici”) will be in another volume later on. But that’s okay, because they are advanced. This is just the beginning bits.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      “Father says, “Every bum and prostitute in ancient Rome could speak Latin! You can, too!””

      Reminds me of the joke that goes “Those French are extremely smart. Even the children there know French.” [Wink]

    • I think it was Ben Franklin who pointed out that if you knew Latin it made learning other European languages easy… but then if you could somehow get to the top rung of a ladder without using any of the other rung, it would make getting down to the lower rungs easier too.

      • It does help. Rather a lot with the germanics, somewhat less with French (may just be my experience), and italian. It gives you an interesting perspective, too, if you happen to have some really old dictionaries with good etymology in them.

        • Odd. French and Italian are more closely related to it.

          • Probably just my experience of them then. German just seemed to “click” like the others never did.

            Latin is still a good idea, even if you never choose to learn another language, though. Medical terms, all sorts of things are open to you then. I say this as a pretty horrible Latinist, though- haven’t brushed up much in years.

      • Grammar in all other languages is taught using the Latin terms and structure, so an ablative case in Latin does the same thing as an ablative case in German or Romanian. (Other languages do have stuff Latin doesn’t and vice versa, and once you get away from Indo-European languages all bets start getting taken by the house.)

  19. Old get rich slow joke: work for a dollar a day, for a million days – and don’t spend a penny of it.

    • I’ve also hear that the first million is the hardest—so wait until you have your second million, and only then go back and earn your first.

  20. Ordered. 🙂 And I didn’t start writing till 62… So I’m WAY behind!

    • As with toilet training, when you start matters less than when you master the skill.

      • Hopefully you can distinguish the results, though. Between writing and toilet training, that is. Although Sturgeon’s Revelation still rules, I suppose.

  21. Technical question: Amazon Prime offers “free reading” from their library for this title. In general, if I were to avail myself of this service does Author Get Paid? (Yes, I’m being lazy. If no-one answers when I go into work this weekend, I can & will look it up)

    • Yes — Amazon pays author when you take the “free reading.”

    • Yes, author gets paid by the number of pages read 🙂 would you be willing to put something together on the I receive guidelines for Mad Genius Club? A bunch of indie authors (me included) would appreciate it. Email me cedarlila at gmail for com. Thanks!!

  22. And eventually I’ll get done with this, and I’m starting to think “A novel a week. Has to be easier than waxing floors.

    *is now imagining Sarah in the traditional anime “floors” montage, complete with sympathetic back-ache*

    *NOTE*’
    I am now getting Grim’s fairy tales, as produced for Poland, dubbed into Japanese, on my youtube list. 0.o

  23. It’s “idiots try to recreate Rome in the future, but only get the strange parts.”

    So… that episode of TOS where Kirk and Spock dressed up like Nazis?!

    • If I was going to think of a Star Trek episode, I probably would have come up with the one where they landed on the planet where Rome never fell. 😉

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      And vaguely similar to R M Meluch’s Palatine Empire, which is literally Rome in Space.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        In Meluch’s Palatine Empire case, there appears to have been a “secret brotherhood” of True Romans ever since the Fall of Rome.

        Once Interstellar travel became possible, they left Earth to create a “new Roman Empire”.

        That seemed to be a really silly idea to me. [Smile]

        Of course, there have always been enjoyable books/series that include “silly ideas”. [Grin]

  24. Completely different question here. What are the advantages to having your own publishing company? I haven’t bothered to create one, now I’m wondering if I should?
    Thanks.
    (and doing a search on the company gives an address and such. You may want to get a box address from one of those mailbox places after you move, back when I was a USDA permit holder, it was worth the expense).

    • It looks a bit more “small press” than the obviously self pubbed. Several years in, I don’t think it much matters, but at the start of KDP it seemed more professional or some such.
      .

    • In our case, we have subcompanies under the family concern. Matters little now, but as the guys get going (and both plan to) it helps keep account easier.

    • When you’re not making much, it’s mostly in the image: “Published by Fynbos Press” looks more professional to customers than “Published by Peter Grant”.

      When you’re making enough that the IRS starts coming ’round with its hand out every quarter, it provides a solid framework to track the separate income vs. its related expenses, of which most are tax deductible, and for the accountant to easily track who needs paid what, when, where, and how… and how much of those related expenses means you don’t have to pay.

      Beyond that, tax advantages vs. disadvantages vary state to state in the US, and by country worldwide, so consult your local CPA or equivalent who’s dealt with freelance income / small businesses before.

      • My accountant has not suggested it, so in my case I don’t know if I’d get any extra tax benefit out of it. I should probably ask her and see what she says.
        I already deal with all the tax write offs, expenses, etc, because I make enough now that I get slaughtered on self employment taxes 😦
        Also, I’ve worked as a contractor for many years now, so I’m used to the record keeping bits, and learning what I can and cannot write off.

        • Accountants who do not specialize in writers are notoriously weak at knowing what’s good for them.

          • One of her clients is a million dollar a year author in the PNW area. She wouldn’t tell me who of course, but she was pointing out things to me I needed to be aware of, and used that as an example.
            But I’ll still go over it with her anyway, because that’s what I pay her for 🙂

            • Ah, I see I don’t need to tell you about the necessity of tracking income and expenses, and holding a reserve against emergencies as well as the reserve against Uncle Bad-Touch Sam!

              Sounds like you’ve got a good accountant, there. Never hurts to check!

    • If you plan to sell directly from a website, having a corporation also helps because (in some jurisdictions) of sales tax collection requirements and paperwork. OTOH be very careful that your town does not look at running a business from your home computer as a zoning violation (which right there is a good reason to have a separate business address, IF that’s going to be a problem.)

  25. Apropos of nothing (other than the comments settings getting broked at my page for no reason at all), WordPress Delenda Est!

  26. Good, it is on KU. I get to read it then.