blech

Another night with nothing in particular worth talking about.  Really not sure if I should blame my job for not being very good at generating entertaining material or the general state of the world for being so fucking depressing that I don’t even have the energy to get mad about it.

(Or Twitter, which seems to be where 90% of my political nonsense has gone to roost.  I think I’d blog about politics a lot more if I didn’t have Twitter.  I leave it as a mental exercise for the reader as to whether that’s a good thing or not.)

Enjoy the few hours of weekend you have left, I suppose.  We’ve postponed the Great Pumpkinating until Wednesday because none of us are in the mood tonight.  Also, I need to practice drawing out the design I plan to use.  I’m hoping this one turns out really cool.

Proof of life

24dc9ee…I’m here, I promise.  It’s been a hell of a long week, honestly– Sunday was spent doing mostly nothing at work and trying to recover from the case of 24-hour Con Crud that I came home with, Monday and Tuesday were the Longest Days Ever at work, and then Wednesday and yesterday I pretty much sat around the house playing Nioh.  I managed to get out tonight; the three of us went to dinner and then selected pumpkins at a local patch; there will likely be some sort of carving thing happening on Sunday night, so there’s a post right there.

Actually, Monday’s shenanigans deserve at least a brief mention, if only in a holy shit I survived that sort of way.  We sell beds, right?  We also sell what we, perhaps too grandly, are supposed to call top-of-bed products and most of us just call bedding, because saying top-of-bed products is Goddamned stupid.

Anyway, we’re clearancing out all of our bedding.  All of it.  Every last piece.  We’re doing it because we’re bringing in an entirely new line of stuff, and the old stuff has to go before the new stuff comes in.  As you do.  Selling bedding has always been fun, because in addition to the usual commission we make a substantial number of points on it too.  We get paid 20% of our points (which we can get for a variety of reasons) at the end of every week, meaning it’s not only basically immediate money but it’s good money– you can make $20 on a $100 bed set, and our bed sets went up to $300.

As of Sunday, we were still paying out full points for bedding.  Which meant when I sold a set of bedding for– get this– $24.99, that money basically went straight into my pocket.  So I was actually pretty damn excited about the idea of steering every single person who walked in the door toward buying bedding, and making up for several weeks of low pay.

And then they turned points off on Monday, meaning that where I was expecting to make about $20 a sale I made $1.25 instead, and instead of the usual three or four sales for a Monday I had twenty-nine, well over half of which involved stripping a bed and bagging everything up.  By myself, since I was the only person on my side of the store.

And then Tuesday I did it again, only with eighteen sales instead of 29, because most of the good shit got sold on Monday.

So yeah.  I’ve been tired.  Real tired.  I’ll try and post more next week.

Good old-fashioned blog- and saleswanking, plus some whining

First day of fall today, supposedly.  Not that I could tell; it was goddamn near 90 outside, the hottest day in weeks.  We’ve had a couple of mild summers in a row around here, which is good since I’m incapable of handling heat.


Trying to decide what I ought to do next.  Tales: The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 3 is out next Tuesday, and can still be pre-ordered digitally for $2.99 or– sssh, don’t tell anyonebought in print for $8.99.  Unless you’re a Prime member, the book’s not getting to you before the 26th, so we’ll call it day-and-date and not worry about it.  In general, presale numbers have not been making me happy.  My presales have gone up with every book until this one, but with four days until release BA 3 has fewer presales than anything else I’ve released so far.  I’ll take the blame for a good chunk of that; I haven’t had the time or energy to invest into properly marketing the thing, and it doesn’t help that blog traffic has looked like this for a while now:

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 7.16.13 PM

Now, 2015 is a little unrepresentative– a single post was good for over a hundred thousand of those hits, and there’s still a few months left in 2017, but the overall downward trend is pretty evident.  My twitter feed has been locked in at about 10K followers for over a year now, and nothing I can do will move the numbers.  And the books aren’t selling very well, and aren’t getting reviews at all.  I just fiddled around in KNP’s sales dashboard to generate a useful graph, but just picture a line dwindling to near-zero several months ago and staying there, other than a brief blip when Balremesh came out.  Presales on that were good, but it appears that everyone who wanted it pre-ordered it.  I’d blame the occasional free weekend, but my sales were shit before I put everything back on Kindle Select again, so nothing’s changed in that regard.

This is starting to sound like a Goodbye Cruel World sort of post, and maybe it should be, but it’s mostly me casting around trying to figure out how to shake things up in my life.  Being an author is important to me, but I don’t think I can really go back to doing that until I figure out a way to not be a furniture salesman anymore– I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all these sales downturns started hitting when I stopped teaching, and got seriously bad when I started at my current job.  The blog traffic predates that, yeah, but it’s kinda tough to surpass a year where you have a single post get 39,000 shares on Facebook.

And then there’s the question of the Next Book, and whether I should even try to start the next book right now, or focus on fixing everything else before I worry about that.  It’ll probably be me going back to the Skylights universe and trying to nail the sequel to that book properly, but there’s another book bouncing around in my head trying to get out that doesn’t fit in with any of my established universes and might be fun to write.  But I’ve kind of liked the last few weekends where I’m not stressing about whether I’m writing all the time, so maybe I need a break.  I dunno.

MOAR WHINING!

tumblr_nkx7ovQvDL1rnma1do1_400…actually, first things first: I’m trying to give some books away today and tomorrow.  They’re all right here if you’re interested.  Still making you buy Balremesh and other stories, though.


It’s been a rough day all around; I’ve been trying to get the house beaten into shape so it doesn’t look like it’s been Lord of the Flies here all week while my wife’s been out of town.  I’m at the point where I’m going to shave the fucking dog bald; it’s not actually been all that hot a summer, but I think she’s actually developing allopecia as she ages– there is no excuse for the amount of shedding she’s been doing lately, and I’m worried that by the time my wife gets home tomorrow night it’s going to not only look like I never brushed her, it’s going to look like I never vacuumed either.  Is that a thing that happens to dogs?  I swear she’s never shedded remotely as much as she does now.

I actually got a fair amount done over the last couple of days, which is generally the standard by which I judge my weekends; the concept of “relaxation” being more or less completely foreign to me.  It was a Good Weekend if I got a lot of shit done.  It was not if I didn’t.  This weekend’s been accompanied by a bit more headfuckery than I’ve had to put up with in the year and a half or so since I stopped teaching, but I think that’s just because I feel like I’m under deadline pressure to make the place look like a half-capable adult lives here.  We’ll see.

There is also a distinct chance that I should seriously consider going back on my brain meds, but I’m trying to ignore that at the moment.

I caught the premiere episode of The Strain last night, which I found pretty compelling, so I’m watching the second right now.  I may or may not write a few paragraphs of fiction while I’m watching it but I’m not going to hold my breath about it.  After that, sleep, and hopefully no kicks in the kidneys tonight.

Wife’s back tomorrow night.  Alhamdollilah.