Showing 1 - 10 of 72 posts found matching keyword: work
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!)
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.
How did you pass your snow days?
Here's something that combines my art and work: collectible business cards.
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).
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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I'm going to have to raise the price of my books.
CreateSpace, the print-on-demand publisher of my books, announced today that they intend to close their estore. Beginning November 1, they will be redirecting all customer requests to Amazon.com (their parent company).
While they pitch this as being an improvement for authors, giving my customers access to features "currently available on Amazon.com" such as searching, better shopping carts, and potentially free shipping, it's going to cut deeply into my (already minuscule) profits.
Right now, I make about $2.50 more per book sold on CreateSpace over Amazon. (CreateSpace pays 80% after material cost; Amazon pays only 60%.) That's why I've been directing you to buy my books there. Beginning November 1, that profit evaporates.
In response, I will be raising the price of my paperbacks from $12 to $15 each. That won't fully cover the cost that Amazon will be swallowing, but it's a compromise I can live with.
TL;DR: If you want a copy of my latest book, buy it at CreateSpace.com before November 1 and save yourself $3.
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All four of my books are now available in both Kindle and paperback editions. You can find links (and previews) at www.CentralKingdomsChronicles.com.
Thanks for your support.
The digital copy of my fourth book is now available on Kindle for $2.99. Paperbacks will be available soon, probably next week, for $12.
Artimus, Whisper, Ico, Corrin, and Jon are reunited once again to defend the city of Sewert from dark magic. This time around our heroes are joined by Whisper's protege and Artimus' son plus a few more new faces (and perhaps a guest appearance by the World's Greatest Gladiator). If you enjoyed the first three volumes of the Central Kingdoms Chronicles, I think you'll like Specter of the Lich.
And if you enjoyed any of my books, please consider reviewing them on Amazon.com. As much I wish they did, these things don't sell themselves.
The September issue of Reader's Digest includes an excerpt from Ben Bratt's book Nabokov's Favorite Word is Mauve. In typical clickbait fashion, the magazine titles its article "Have Bestsellers become Dumber?" There's a maxim in journalism that any question posed in a headline can be answered with the word "no." In this case, the answer is a slightly more complicated "kind of."
The argument Bratt makes is that most bestselling books these days are written on a 6th grade reading level, a significant decline from the 8th grade reading level of most bestsellers half a century ago. Personally, I hesitate to blame this on the "dumbing down" of readers. As a child, I was taught that any writing intended for a mass audience should be written on a 7th grade level. I suspect that modern authors have taken that advice to heart and, in the interest of finding an audience, doubled down. After all, if a 7th grade level reaches the average reader, a 6th grade level casts a wider net.
Of course, reading this made me wonder about my own books. Now that I'm an author myself, where does my personal style fall? To answer that question, I took my first three books and ran them through an online text parser. It gave me an "A" for readability but complained that my words have too many syllables. I didn't realize that was a problem. Perhaps naively, I assumed that words had all the syllables they needed.
Over the course of the three books (255,437 words in 25,235 sentences), I averaged 1.4 syllables per word. That's too high? I like Green Eggs and Ham as much as the next guy, but I also like most of my meals to be slightly more complicated.
Otherwise, what did the text parser tell me about my writing? My books are 37% nouns or pronouns, 21% verbs, 7% adjectives, and 6% adverbs, and they should take about 20 hours to read. That information gives no hint about whether my stories are entertaining, just that humans won't pull out their hair trying to make sense of my grammar. That's better than nothing, I suppose.
Oh, it also told me that my writing averages a 7th grade reading level. Surprise, surprise.
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last year two years ago when I said I was designing puzzles and scripting dialog for a video game? Well, SnarfQuest Tales, Episode 1: The Beginning is finally available on Steam!
For the record, I wrote the script for that trailer, too. Perhaps next I'll try my hand at being a playwright. That can't pay worse than video game scripting.
When I went to the dentist on Thursday, he told me that he bought (and enjoyed) all of my fantasy novels. That's one of the side benefits of being a heavy Coca-Cola drinker who has seen the same dentist at least twice a year for twenty years. I think of it as a kickback.
I haven't sold a lot of books yet. To date, I've made about $70 in sales against ... well, you don't want to know how many hours I spent writing or dollars I've spent advertising. I won't say those details aren't important, but they aren't why I wrote the books.
One of the things I've discovered since releasing the books to the wild is that I'm always embarrassed when someone tells me s/he's read one, whether they claim to have enjoyed it or not. I don't think it's because the books are bad — I happen to think they're pretty good — I just don't enjoy the attention. I don't want to do any signings or readings. I'd prefer for the books to speak for themselves.
But if you've read them and want to tell your friends (or Amazon or Twitter or Facebook or your dental patients) how much you liked them, I'm not going to stand in your way.