Showing 1 - 10 of 78 posts found matching keyword: work

Believe it or not, I sold 190 books on Amazon.com in 2018!

The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 1, The Wizards of Ranaloy The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 2, Prince Thorgils' War The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 3, A Quest Before Dying The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 4, Specter of the Lich

To clarify, that "sold" number includes books that Amazon gave away for free to good homes (with my permission). I won't tell you exactly how many of them were free. I will only say that my total take-home revenue for the year was $9.92, which means that for a third year in a row, I can call myself a (marginally) professional writer.

And yes, I am currently working on another novel. The next one will not be in the same series but it still will be about wizards. Wizards who solve locked-room murders. Because even fantasy murders need solving.

I'll tell you more when we get closer to release, sometime later this year.

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Unlike last year, this year I tried to make gingerbread houses all by myself from recipes I found on the Internet. Mm-hmm. Operative word: "tried."

They taste better than they look, but that's a pretty low bar

I've just about mastered the cookie recipe. The gingerbread itself is soft and delicious. The icing, on the other hand, was a bit of a problem (as you can see).

The icing was so thick and stiff that the pastry bag might as well have been filled with quick dry cement. In hindsight, I probably added too much sugar to the amount of egg whites I had. I'll try to remember that for next year.

At least my mouth doesn't care how they look.

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I woke up to a text from Friend Ken who needed advice regarding his broken range top. "Boy, am I glad I don't have his problems," I thought to myself.

And then my kitchen sink broke.

Somehow, the nut holding the pipe on the strainer basket in the left basin had become completely stripped. As a result, the pipe slid sideways, and the dishwater, instead of draining away to the septic tank, drained into the cabinet.

Mom and I debated calling a plumber, but we ultimately agreed that replacing a sink basket is no big deal. I should be able to handle that repair easily. Unless the locknut nut is rusted in place. Which, of course, this was. Enter the hacksaw! In a tiny cramped space! On my back!

Two hours, one trip to Home Depot, and $17 later, the sink was back together and successfully holding its water. That's when I noticed that the pipe in the right basin had a cracked nut that was also leaking. Grr. Fortunately, I had the replacement parts leftover from a previous repair to the basement sink. So another hour later (in a tiny cramped space, on my back), both sides of the sink were good as new! Almost.

On reinspection, the left basin was leaking again. Thinking it must be because I had used too small a bead of plumbers putty, I unscrewed everything again. That's when I noticed that while reassembling the parts last time, I had accidentally placed the high-tech piece of cardboard (meant to reduce friction between locknut and gasket) above the rubber gasket instead of below it. It turns out that cardboard is terrible at holding water. Who knew?

Maybe I *should* have called a plumber.

Anyway, everything is working as it is supposed to again. So take that, Ken! The ball is back in your court, buddy.

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"I haven't been very good about updating the 'work' section of this site lately (so much of what I've done in the recent past is app coding, which doesn't show off very well)" is what I wrote in 2013 as introduction to a post promoting the first postcard design I'd made to promote a local Halloween event.

Well, I've still got that job.

Zombie Day, Saturday, October 13, 2018

As you can see, zombies are taking a bit of a back seat to super heroes these days. As well they should.

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To help promote my books, I want to add some brief reviews to CentralKingdomsChronicles.com. To do that, I need some reviews.

If anyone reading this has also read any of my books and enjoyed them, please use the contact form to write me a sentence or two.

Alternately, you can also leave a review on Amazon.com. Every little bit helps.

The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 1, The Wizards of Ranaloy The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 2, Prince Thorgils' War The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 3, A Quest Before Dying The Central Kingdoms Chronicles: Book 4, Specter of the Lich

Thanks for your support.

Update: Central Kingdoms Chronicles now likable on Facebook!

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This is what I spent my May building: new stairs for the front porch!

Eight days a week

Not bad for someone whose best tool is a keyboard, if I do say so myself.

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Thursday, you saw what I made for my blog in celebration of Monday's upcoming National Championship Game. This is what I made for the door:

It's only foam board (1/8 inch black on top of 1/2 inch white), but I'm trying to talk Mom into letting me paint it on the door permanently. Maybe if the Dawgs manage to win on Monday....

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For no good reason, I bought a Wilton gingerbread house kit from Michaels earlier this month with the plan that Mom and I would build it together. That plan was somewhat spoiled when my father interrupted our house raising. (He needed tech support for the Kindle I bought him last Christmas that he just now decided to activate for the first time.) Mom went to bed while I was on the phone, and I finished our house without her.

We went shopping for a do-over replacement kit, but Michaels was sold out. Rather than give up, I doubled down. I found a recipe and made enough gingerbread for two more houses, one for Mom to decorate and one for me. (No tech support call could defeat this plan!)

'Are you going to make a gingerbread house?' asked the cashier. 'I did that when I was a child.'
Click photo to embiggen.

In the photo above, the shared kit house is on the left with the rainbow roof. Mom's greenhouse is in the middle. My sloppy icicle house is on the right.

For my standalone house, I decided I was only going to use candy accessories that I would eat. Turns out, I don't like the taste of rainbows. Who knew?

Though I'm reasonably satisfied with the final results, the best part wasn't decorating but baking the gingerbread. (The house smelled so good!) Therefore, next year I think we'll just decorate homemade gingerbread men. And we'll turn off our cellphones, just in case.

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How did you pass your snow days?

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Here's something that combines my art and work: collectible business cards.

Gotta collect 'em all!

These were created for a friend of mine, professional sculptor Chris Fennell. As I recall, the idea was all his, but I got the fun task of actually creating the card design (and the slightly less fun task of dealing with the printer).

That's not a quarter, it's an Eisenhower half dollar

In the end, I think they turned out quite well. If I could think of a good reason to have any, I'd consider making a run of them for myself. Maybe something with poodles and jeeps. . . .

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To be continued...

 

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