“They” say that catching up is harder than keeping up, so WHY did I stop blogging, putting me in this position of trying to catch up on everything all at once? I have an idea, but I’m not going to bore you with it. Time to get back in the saddle.
New House News
Remember that window that thieves broke to get in back in October? It’s STILL not fixed. I wrote about how the glass company, MilGard, sent the wrong glass in the wrong size. What I didn’t write about was that after my installers took it back, MilGard sent the wrong size AGAIN! Then claimed they couldn’t possibly have made a mistake. On the third try, they got it right… but then last Friday the installers brought the wrong glass. You should have seen the hang-dog looks on their faces when they told me. All I could do was laugh. We’ll try again after the first of the year.
Old House News
When I finally got my chosen realtor to come take a look at the new place, the news wasn’t good. “Replace the appliances, most of the flooring, and the light fixtures, and add a block wall,” she said. I won’t repeat what I thought but didn’t say. At least I was able to take advantage of the pre-Christmas sales and save money on the appliances. Now, if we can just find an above-the-range microwave/range hood that will fit…. (The one I bought was 1″ too tall, so the installer wasn’t allowed to put it in.)
Then, a couple weeks ago we had a ferocious wind storm. We get these in the spring and fall sometimes and with the house being so close to the mountains, the downslope effect can really accelerate the air. Apparently that’s what happened because the wind not only snapped one of the large branches on one of the trees in the front yard, it threw the debris around so that it hit the front of the house and knocked a hole in the stucco.
Fortunately, there’s a several inch gap between this exterior wall and the structural wall, so there was no water damage inside. Even so, with another storm on the way, on Saturday I temporarily filled the hole with some expanding spray foam. Tomorrow my stucco guy will put a more permanent fix in. The weather will be good this week so I can repaint it once the stucco is ready for it.
Sort-of White Christmas
That second storm hit Saturday (Christmas Eve), with the Tucson weather-guessers–sorry, meteorologists–forecasting snow levels down to 3,500 feet. Since my house is at 4,900 feet, does that mean lots of snow? This time of year, usually not.
The first winter I was in Arizona, ‘way back in 1990, we got a snow storm in December that left about an inch on the grassy areas. Later that day, I was talking with a realtor I’d gotten to know, and I asked him what kind of snow storms the area got.
He said, “We get a couple of good snow storms every year.”
“Okay,” I said. “I’m from Colorado. I know what I mean when I say, ‘a good snow storm.’ What do you mean?”
“Oh,” he said, “an inch or two that lasts a day or two.”
And that’s consistently been about right. This is what the latest storm left at my place, looking up the wash.
And looking across the wash,
Not much, huh? Now, the mountains, on the other hand, which go up above 9,200 feet, looked like this Christmas day.
Or, this (Monday) morning, a closer look at Miller Peak (on the left) and Carr Peak (on the right).
Pretty to look at and I don’t have to shovel a thing.
Book Sale News
Finally, back in October, writer-friend and mentor Laurinda Wallace suggested that something I could do to improve my books sales, which have pretty much stunk, was to buy ad space with a number of book promotion sites. These sites publish daily e-mails to promote reduced-price ebooks. She’d had some pretty good luck with them, so I figured I’d give it a go. With her help, I picked out ten of these sites, reduced the price of the ebook version of The Eternity Plague to 99 cents, and placed ads on six of them, most of which ran in early November. (One didn’t run until mid-December.) And the results were…?
Wow. I mean–WOW!
Let me put it this way. Since I first published The Eternity Plague back in December of 2013, I’d sold a grand total of 148 print and electronic copies. Since November 1st, I’ve sold 216 ebook copies, plus four copies of the sequel, Chrysalis (at its full $3.99 ebook price).
So while I haven’t hit the 500 copy mark that is reported to be the average number of copies a book sells, I’m still calling this experiment a success, because sales continue to dribble in even weeks after the ads ran, and because I’ve gotten those sales of the sequel as well. My goal was to get greater visibility for my books, and I certainly achieved that.
I’ll keep The Eternity Plague at 99 cents through the end of the month, then the price will go back up to its regular $3.99 as I get ready for my next experiment.