White Christmas

Snow on Christmas day is rare in the Puget Sound area. We’re more likely to see it in January or February, but there was some falling yesterday and has collected a fair amount as of this morning. We opened the back door for the cats. They are both indoor cats, but they find padding around in the snow intriguing. By “padding around in the snow,” I mean that if we carry them out they might slowly move about, and when we open the door they cautiously creep around on the first step. Either way, they are cats, with snow on their fur, so they are adorable.

“It’s so cold out there!” – Little Cat back from her snowy adventure.

I’m glad the snow held off yesterday though because it meant we were able to visit both parents and in-laws. This is the first time we sat down with some of them in a couple of years now. It’s challenging because not everyone is able to isolate as well as we can, and we are still trying to do our part by being careful. Our intent is to mini-quarantine for at least the next week just in case. Any risks we took should end with us.

Yesterday morning when my sister arrived with her kids, I just about–did–freaked out at them when my niece walked in saying nonchalantly “I got COVID-19 for Christmas.”

I looked at my sister with fire in my eyes. “Then what the F are you all doing here?!”

The two of them shared a look and started cracking up. I, of course, am unamused. They are not that selfishly irresponsible. I know they are not. But, there are so many people who are, and you hear stories like that all the time. For that moment, I believed they would do it.

It turned out my niece received a GiantMicrobe plush toy representation of COVID-19 in her stocking. The two of them conspired their little scene thinking about how hilarious it would be to get a reaction out of me. I can’t say I was sorry to rise to the occasion, and I’m glad they, and others, got a laugh out of it. As I said on Instagram, “well played, little one. Well played.”

We are big fans of Giant Microbes. The regular size plush tags always include interesting facts about the microbe in question.

Publication Update

My book was released just under two weeks ago. After the initial surge, sales have dwindled to a trickle. This is both expected, and not as bad as it sounds. You expect an initial surge driven by preorders, followed by a reduction. The sales still coming in are primarily due to social media sharing by friends and me. I have also had three of my ARC readers post reviews in various places along with one “verified purchaser” review. Through it all, I maintained a reasonable star rating.

I also set up a targeted keyword ad on Amazon Advertising, and I got my first sale from that effort on Friday. The cost per click and advertising cost of sales are…not great, but for my first book, it is going to be more about volume and bringing people into the series and along for the ride. I’m hoping for a preorder for book two to come in from one of these initial sales. I will have another little celebration at the sign someone likes the first enough to immediately sign up for the second.

Sales might see another little surge when I finish the paperback version. I have all the formatting done, and I’m going to try to order an author test copy in the next couple of days to see how it looks once actually printed. Barring any issues, I might have it out by the middle of January, ahead of the February target.

Reminder, I’m going to be doing a paperback raffle of sorts in my January newsletter (around mid-month), so if you are interested in trying for a free paperback and have not already signed up for the newsletter, you can do so below or on my home page.

For now, I’m back to editing and writing. Come back next week for another installment of the dream journal short story!

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