An Update on Rewards

Oh, look, it’s March. And I’m really late on all the rewards.

It’s not that we haven’t tried. We have. This was after all — as I warned you — the year of working the kinks out.

One kink we didn’t count on was not being able to send the “simple” things, the one I had put the onus on: sending out the electronic stuff.

Turns out various anti-spam measures mean most of our emails didn’t even go out, and if they did they disappeared. I know how to get around that for this year. I will require people to send an email to which I can answer. For this year that would probably not work because half the people will not get the message.

We are going to try something this week, using substack. We’ll see. If it works you’ll get something from a newsletter called something involving Rewards and Hoyt.

For the other stuff, we’ll be trying to mail everything that needs to be snail mailed in the next month.

If you donated enough for a critique or a tuckerization, please email me either at the email everyone knows or at the book promo email (in the patter at the beginning of yesterday’s post) and we’ll organize it. So far I have one tuckerization and one mentoring scheduled.

I want to get through all this by mid April, if all possible.

Some delay on the further stuff was due to the head of Team Hoyt, aka younger son going from unemployed to double-employed at the end of last year. We’re finding alternate ways to deal with it, but we were very unorganized for a while.

Of course, I still have absolutely no idea what donation system to use for this year.

We’ll figure it out. Probably.

Anyway, there will be something this week, at least the beginning of something, hopefully.

And then everything else by the by.

Again, so sorry. We didn’t count on infallible spam protection thwarting us.

And now excuse me while I type furiously on the next Dyce book.

Oh, yeah, DIL in training is doing audio for it. About the Refinishing Mysteries.

This sample is nowhere near final. She says it’s “muddy” and it needs a pop filter, so she’s redoing it. But I love the voice she gave Dyce.

116 thoughts on “An Update on Rewards

  1. Off topic but everyone should know that we are in the early stages of a financial collapse. Get your money into the safest place and form you can.

        1. And it doesn’t take much to warm (not cook) soup. A “cooling rack” and a tea light or a few will do. It ain’t much, but WARM beats COLD and sometimes that’s enough.

          1. Unless you’re anticipating grid failure, a crock pot is the better bet. MUCH cheaper to make up soup (stew, etc.).

            In fact, I have the second one of those coming in this week. Biggest one I could find on Amazon. Some possibility that SIL may be with us again for a while (her rent is outpacing even her pretty good job).

            1. Electricity is generally the ideal way to deal with a good many things (gas rangetops being THE Great Exception)… but that does, as you say, presume the presence of a reliable, functional grid. And as the [Brain-Dead Idiot Leftist, But I Repeat Everyone Sane] Govnoper signed the BlackOut Bill to move to 100% “renewables” I ain’t gonna count on the best things working.

        2. Also have proper cooking/warming vessel. The old early 20th century method of heating/cooking in the can was before more modern best-not-eaten coatings in the cans. Camping gear is worth a look.

          1. I looked at camping stoves that used small cans of butane, but choose a harder to use store that ran on twigs. In southern New England, we have plenty of twigs, even if the Commies come for the trees and rocks.
            Never forget the government treats some people as much more equal than others.

      1. I would have thought so until reading the recent guest post suggesting that it might not be that bad.

        1. We are almost certainly not heading for a financial collapse. What we’re heading into is a recession, perhaps a bad one. These happen every 10 years or so. They differ from one another only in severity and the small details.

          In any case, if we have an actual financial collapse, your money won’t be worth anything anyway, so why worry? Bury some gold in the backyard, plant potatoes — you can live on potato’s 10 pounds a day skin and all — and invest in a reliable shotgun and ample ammunition to keep the scavengers off your spuds.

          For me, I’m long long duration treasuries and high quality corporate equities, If the economy doesn’t collapse, I suspect I’ll be OK and if it does, as I said the money is worthless anyway.

          n.b. The US banks that have collapsed are outliers on one important statistics, how concentrated their deposits were. Both were in a position where one or two customers could cause a run and those depositors were hot money anyway being VC and crypto. Credit Suisse has been on life support for years. If you want some blood sport, look at DB, which is worse,

          1. The Reader thinks your analysis is accurate on the facts. He is not sure that Joe Average’s head is resonating with the facts at the moment. Bank runs throughout history haven’t been rational.

            1. True, alas, Still, most of these runs are not by normal people, they’re VC and Crypto. The hottest of hot money.

              the sad fact is that everything is actually working the way it’s supposed to work as the FDIC overseas the bridge bank, the FHLB pumps money into the smaller banks, and the Fed acts as lender of last resort.

              People need to calm down and until they do, well … I have my bets on.

            2. Keep your head in a panic and you can buy some great long-term investments.

              Essential: Don’t Panic

              1. Best time to buy is when there’s blood in the water. No blood yet, really. I wish it’d happen one way or the other. I hate waiting.

              2. The Reader agrees. He was a buyer in 2008 and in March 2020. Looking for opportunity again.

            1. I’ve seen that take elsewhere. It’s spooky when Zerohedge looks like accurate information.

          2. Unless one is very poor, one can prepare for multiple scenarios; preparation against food shortages and other supply chain problems is still cheap at the moment.

            As for investable funds, I would not own long duration Treasurys or corporate equities, both of which are way too expensive in my opinion. I’m in T-bills and gold.

            As for your notion that it is only those concentrated banks that are in trouble, that is incorrect.
            Most small and medium-sized banks are heavily into commercial real estate lending, which is imploding as we speak. CMBS spreads against Treasurys are widening because commercial real estate owners are mailing the keys back to the banks for at least two reasons:
            1. Most of those loans are medium term, 5 – 7 years being typical, and they won’t be willing (or possibly able) to refinance at double the rate they were paying before.
            2. Much office space is becoming vacant as companies reduce their footprint in big cities.

            So the next shoe to drop may be one or more of those smaller banks that has lent out too much on commercial real estate, or it may be a bank that has a lot of CMBS in their asset base.

            Or it may be a bank that has written way too much CDS on Credit Suisse and can’t pay.

            Or it may be an insurer or pension fund, as they also have a lot of exposure to real estate.

            Or it may be something completely out of left field.

            But it’s not just a recession.

            1. I really don’t want to turn this into a flame war, i only wrote because I wouldn’t want someone to overreact to your hyperbole without a counter argument.

              The simple fact of the matter in the US is that the two banks that were closed “coincidentally” had the highest proportion of non FDIC insured deposits in both cases over 90% with the median around sixty. SIVB also had unrealized losses over 100% of capital. it’s probably no coincidence that the other banks that had large losses in stock price and rumored deposit runs also had a high proportion of uninsured deposits. All the banks that had trouble also had a few large depositors and one or two could cause a run on deposits.

              SIVB looks to have been a real Charlie Foxtrot, The rest just contagion, liquidity, and bad luck.

              I’ve been reading zero hedge almost from its beginning, before they were on their current server when it was just one wacky Bulgarian guy. I love zero hedge, I do. At least one of every ten disasters they forecast actually occurs, which as the others never forecast any disasters at all is a huge improvement. What I do when they talk about disasters that aren’t obvious Russian propaganda is investigate the topic. Sometimes I’ll act on their information, most often not. the melancholy fact is that drama and hyperbole sell whilst boring old investment simply doesn’t.

              As for the Long bond and equities. I’m inclined to ask what skin you have in that game. I’m long the long bond and long quality equities, even though I expect equities as a whole to go down over the next several months. Other players in the markets have other positions because they have other opinions. that’s what the market,is. This is all part of a portfolio and I have hedging positions in place or am holding long dated options to limit my exposure to the downside. You see, I’m a pro. This is what I do for my living and I’ve been at it for over 40 years and am still at it. In this game, survival is the only criterion of success.

              This isn’t to say there won’t be more deposit runs, people panic. There will almost certainly be a recession, I’m betting on a doozy, which is why i’m carrying the highest proportion of US treasury bonds, that i have ever carried.I’m betting that bonds are cheap because high prices cause low prices and the inflation we’ve been experiencing is beginning to ebb and low prices on everything except bonds is our future. Your mileage may differ.

              1. My portfolio is very roughly 85% gold, 15% tbills. That should tell you how seriously I take my analysis.

              2. “The simple fact of the matter in the US is that the two banks that were closed “coincidentally” had the highest proportion of non FDIC insured deposits in both cases over 90% with the median around sixty. ”

                How has that been changed by the Biden administration declaring that there are no non-insured deposits at either SVB or Signature, and by extension everywhere else? Hasn’t that massively increased FDIC exposure?

                    1. Yes, of course.
                      Fortunately anyone who has more than $250k in a bank can always buy T-bills instead.
                      But of course that destabilizes the banks that they take the money out of.
                      I’m sure that’s just a coincidence!

                    1. Gibson Guitars 2.0


                      “Here is nought at venture, random nor untrue
                      Swings the wheel full-circle, brims the cup anew.

                      Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid:
                      Step for step and word for word–so the old Kings did!

                      Step by step, and word by word: who is ruled may read.
                      Suffer not the old Kings: for we know the breed–

                      All the right they promise–all the wrong they bring.
                      Stewards of the Judgment, suffer not this King !”

                      Rudyard Kipling, “The Old Issue”

  2. I have honestly forgotten how much I donated. Didn’t do it for rewards anyway.
    And rest assured that I am still posting the link to each and every Schrodinger Path newsletter to Sarah’s Diner at Baen’s Bar even when you do three in one week.
    My poor over extended typing fingers, oh woe is me.

    1. All that I remember myself is that it wasn’t “upper tier.”

      I view it as “I send Sarah money. She does something with it that gives her more time/energy to type. Produces books that I buy, read, and enjoy. Win/win.”

      1. Aye. I recall computing things that would an interesting number (after PayPal, before they revealed themselves as Enemy Agents, fees). No significant reward beyond the mention in the Thank You post. And considering the Shifter series, I woefully underpaid… but I ain’t arguing.

      1. Yeah, same here. The big reward is SAH writing.

        $SPOUSE is eagerly awaiting AWID, and did a happy dance when she found that the Muse had inspired/insisted upon twin books.

        It’s been such that I forgot that Cas was in both Goldport series. This gonna be fun!

        1. You know the mysteries were almost an after thought. But in reading to get back into the series, I found it’s amazingly nice to read those books in that time.

  3. So, apropos of nothing: YouTube recommended an interesting clip to me. It seems there’s new Pinky and the Brain content and Brain has a new female antagonist. Who seems to be a writer and super-reader. And is also nuttier as a goddamned fruitcake:

    “Where was I? Oh that’s right, here in my body” is not something I ever want to hear from someone who has me tied up…

      1. Well… I was going to say that even you aren’t THAT crazy, but then I remembered how you sometimes forget you have a body. And suddenly there seems to be a little more similarity than I’d like.

        But I figured you guys would appreciate the Goodreads and Writer’s Caucus jokes, at least.

        1. Thanks, but you tend to take anti-aircraft fire and I’m not sure how well you’ll dodge under heavy load. 😛

  4. Well, the main ‘reward’ I look forward to is seeing content show up here a few times a week,
    Of course, new books are also appreciated, but I understand they get done when the characters allow it.
    So stay healthy and happy, and I will do my best to do the same!

  5. I think I told you at the time I was waiving the reward. So, we’re good 🙂

  6. Hi, Sarah! It is my understanding that I, Kat Starnes, am destined to die horribly in one of your novels. I don’t have to die, or even appear, quite frankly, because really, my husband and I just wanted to bless you, as we have been blessed by you. I don’t comment, or even go to your website much, but read your daily posts and books with interest and enjoyment. I find your take on the world to be refreshing, informative and valuable in troubled times. As Biblical Level Events unfold around us, I am always interested in how you perceive them. My daily prayer is that we would not be afraid, nor deceived. Your perspective often helps with both of those things.

    May God bless you richly,

    Kat Starnes

      1. For the record: if you ever decide to kill me off in one of your books I want it to be in a hilarious magical accident.

        And I’m fully aware there’s no other reason to put me in one of your books in the first place, so don’t hold back. 😛

          1. Hey, I didn’t say anything about Witch’s Daughter. Sounds like a guilty conscience to me. 😛

  7. A data point, for what it’s worth (and may it be a help in confirmation). I stopped by Schrodinger’s Path over the weekend and was startled to find an email from you (or from the stack) this morning. At first, I thought somehow the site was stalking me, as I could not recall having opted in. But now, I can see how it might have happened. At any rate, I got it. Just so you know.

  8. My reward is reading your musings and then reading all the community comments, if that’s not too sappy to say. I think I’m destined to die in a mass casualty event in your story. If that happens, cool. If not, also cool. Stay healthy. Keep shining your light, because the darkness is getting very dark out there.

  9. If Heinlein was correct about writers and realities, killing off your readers in a mass casualty event in one of your stories may have unfortunate repercussions. The Reader wonders if you have thought this though.

    1. Oh. well… I’ve never had people complain of being killed in mass casualties. But I prefer to tuckerize rather than red shirt, because that often does have weird ecoes.

        1. Tuckerization: Making you a character in a book.

          Redshirting: Your character dies in the book.

          The Joe Buckley treatment is a special form of redshirting in which your character gets killed in some particularly bizarre or/and gruesome fashion. For example, in the history of David Weber’s Manticore books, Joe Buckley was a gravitics scientist who got reduced to subatomic particles while trying to find a way to use an impeller drive in hyperspace. His failure did provide critical data which eventually helped Adrienne Warshawski to devise the impeller sail named after her.

          Any time you run across a character named Joe Buckley, expect him to come to a very bad end.
          Shrinker: “You promised to let me go!”
          Ker Avon: “No,” [points to a gun] “I promised you a way out.”

          1. Well, Eric Flint & Ryk Spoor had a Joe Buckley who lived through three books in their series and even got the Girl!

            He may have died sometime between Book 3 and Book 4 but there were IIRC several decades between 3 & 4.

            Still if Joe’s wife was still living, Death might have been afraid to take Joe because she was very scary. 😉

            However, in Book 6 of that series there was a Jo Buckley who died but she died off screen. 😀

            1. But — he almost got killed when the prototype oxygen processor blew up. And when the lander crashed on Mars. And then again when their rebuilt Bemmie ship was shot down and crashed on an ice moon.

              Besides, Joe got The Other Girl. Apart from marrying Madeline, he had plenty of bad luck.
              “Mrs. Tweedy! The chickens are revolting!”

              1. Bad Luck????

                He may have had “stuff” happening to him but it wasn’t fatal and of the “accidents” we witnessed, IIRC the worst injury was a broken leg (that was when his crash seat exited the crashed Stuttle on Mars).

                So considering what kept happening to him, I’d say that he had Incredible Luck! [Very Very Big Grin]

                Of course, after he married Madeline (ie Superwoman), I sure that the universe would be afraid of killing. [Very Very Very Big Grin]

  10. I can hear background breathing. Other than that, the recording sample sounds fine.

    There is a kind of trick to breathing less loudly while recording (ie, practice), but there are also physical and digital filters.

    I agree that the reading is good. Too many narrators have trouble letting you hear the joke, or do weird things with their enunciation. This is right where it should be.

  11. I can hear background breathing. Other than that, the recording sample sounds fine.

    There is a kind of trick to breathing less loudly while recording (ie, practice), but there are also physical and digital filters.

    I agree that the reading is good. Too many narrators have trouble letting you hear the joke, or do weird things with their enunciation. This is right where it should be.

    1. News organizations tend to have house styles for voices. For instance, the dragged-out last consonant in “This is CNNnnnnnnn” carried over into everything CNN reporters would say, at least back when I still watched them occasionally.

      NPR had their own style, which weirdly emphasized breath noises:

      “[intake] This is Angie Smith, coming to you from …”
      “[intake] Here in West Valley, local citizens are …”
      “[intake] Disaster struck today in …”

      Every. Single. Time.

      Once I noticed it, I couldn’t un-hear it and it became very distracting. Of course, I stopped listening to them at all about 15 years ago.

      1. Never notice the NPR thing, but if I stilled listened to NPR I am sure I’d now hear it for-bloody-ever.

        Had one teacher would always drag out the last syllable of a sentennnnnnnnnnce. It was an amazingly potent sedativvvvvvvvvvvve.

      2. I wonder if the loud inhale was originally to make darn sure that the mike was on and the system was recording? And once broadcasting tech improved, they kept it as an in-house signal? Who knows.

        1. My guess would be that some particularly prestigious reporter did it decades ago and the others imitated him or her and then it became tradition.

          Sort of like how Microsoft people at high levels all start rocking back and forth in meetings like Bill Gates does.

  12. A female vocal track ought not sound muddy, the frequencies are in the wrong band for it.
    At a guess, the mic is probably picking up something ambient.

    Before re-recording anything, I’d encourage you to slap a high pass (or low cut, they’re synonymous) filter on the track. Start somewhere around 120 hertz, and see what you get. Might save a ton of work.

    1. If you’d like, you can send me a sample. I’ll take a gander at it, and tell you what I think.
      I have a couple of toys that might make diagnosis easier.

  13. We’re not going away, so do what you gotta. Downloaded and read Lights out and Cry last night, EXCELLENT! But since I’m ‘associated’ with you, I can’t post a review… Grrr…

    1. Aye, I’d love post a great review, but… well there’s a Certain Obvious Bias if anyone looks into things in not that much depth. Whereas, I can 5-star LawDog, say, all day and at worst I’d be guilty of mere fanboy-ism. Not fanboi… I have some standards. If I were to fanboi, the ‘target’ would at least need to be female. Ancient beast is Ancient. Deal.

  14. Apparently since they did not get the desired result from Reichstag Fire 2.0, the Dems are going for RF 2.1:

    Of course their prosecution of Trump for this is utterly bogus as many legal commentators have noted, and is clearly being pursued for partisan political purposes in true banana republic style.

    My guess is that they are going to try to use this bogus charge as a pretext to pursue civil forfeiture against Trump and his businesses and essentially try to confiscate them, which is what regimes in banana republics do to political opponents. The goal of course is to financially cripple him so as to kneecap any general election campaign for 2024 (any lack of money for someone as well known as Trump will not seriously hurt him in the primaries). No matter that it is bogus and will almost certainly be tossed; just as long as it harms him long enough to impact 2024.

    I also expect a ramp-up of persecution of anyone who ever voted for Trump or ever said anything less than critical of him. Biden me mentally incompetent but his handlers meant what they said and did with his Triumph of the Shrill speech. There is a good reason over half of the US populace considers the FBI, etc., to be Biden’s (meaning his handlers) personal Gestapo.

    1. Don’t worry, my dear Quintilius, once we get rid of this upstart Tiberius Gracchus, the Republic will be rid of its enemies and all will be smooth sailing from here on out. I guarantee it. <= You are here

      Don’t worry, my dear Quintilius, once Sulla is done with these proscriptions, the Republic will be rid of its enemies and all will be smooth sailing from here on out. I guarantee it.

      Don’t worry, my dear Quintilius, once Caesar is dead, the Republic will be rid of its enemies and all will be smooth sailing from here on out. I guarantee it.

      I could post this to FB as a hidden warning to all my progressive acquaintances, but I expect none of them would get it.

      1. You’re right, they most definitely would not, and would be outraged about referring to the Romans.

      2. I still think the plan for Jan 6 was for Trump to lead the march, find the doors open, and then die on the floor of Congress.

    2. “My guess is that they are going to try to use this bogus charge as a pretext to pursue civil forfeiture against Trump and his businesses and essentially try to confiscate them, ”

      Which is why CAF before conviction of owner has always been an unconstitutional abomination, no matter WHO it’s used on.

      1. Ho, hum, another unconstitutional abomination…what’s new?

        The whole damn government has become an unconstitutional abomination. Which is why I advocate for taking a chainsaw to it and pruning off about 95%.

        1. I have this flash of an image of bodies from lampposts, a printout the Constitution daggered to the bodies, “Failed to follow this. Earned this place” or such. No, this is not a hope. It is, perhaps, a warning. [FREE CLUE to glowies: I ain’t anywhere near any of these anti-American yo-yo’s that likely well and truly deserve it.]

  15. The goal is likely to get Trump to make an under-oath statement, on anything, then charge “perjury” and put it in front of a jury. Said jury carefully selected.

    If he won’t geek, then “conspiracy”, with same endgame.

    Someone has made a very foolish decision. Hopefully not followed by “stupid”.

    And this may well be scheduled “squirrel” for something that didn’t actually happen this week.

  16. Off-Topic: is Kindleprenuer worth using for advice/formatting when writing one’s first book? It looks helpful, but I’m not exactly familiar with the field.

  17. I believe that I, too, am a victim in a mass casualty event. I just hope it is hilarious. If I do, I do, if I don’t, no worries. I just wanted to help you out, as you are one of my people.

  18. Heck, I cannot remember what level I could send, no worries on my part regardless.

    Is the substack subscription a good way to throw cash at you?

      1. If you’re still thinking about putting non-Kindle versions of your books in your substack, then it would be nice to have a way to purchase them.

        No hurry. 😉

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