Saturday, March 19, 2016

Disappointing #Amazon Giveaway

 

I didn't know what to expect with my Amazon Giveaway experiment. I read a few blogs on the topic and most recommended setting tougher odds to gain a lot of Twitter or Amazon followers. While that might be nice and all, I just wanted to give some books away to new readers, so I picked what the experts seemed to think was easy odds of 1 in 100 to win. I got about 200 entries, which is exciting to think of 200 people interested in my book, but it also means only 2 copies were won. So I have 3 copies left.

There are a couple options for what to do with these last 3 copies - I've already purchased them, so it's just a matter of giving them away. I can run a new Amazon Giveaway for them and choose the option to just give them to the first 3 people who enter, or I can give them away on my own and send people a gift code to use on Amazon.

I'm going to try that second method. This blog does not get many readers, so maybe this won't work either but here's what I'm going to try:
To get a free copy of Eye of the Beholder and other stories leave a comment asking for one. The first three get a Amazon code for a free ebook. (If more people want one, I'll probably go ahead and give outmore) Ta Da! If, after a few days I still have copies left, I'll run another Amazon Giveaway to find homes for them. That's my plan.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Couch to 5k is my Fitness NaNoWriMo

I participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for the theoretical person out there who doesn't know) every year, even when I know I don't have the time or the energy to win. I just like to play. Mostly, I don't hit my word goal.

Couch to 5K (or C25K since we all like to use the lingo, right?) is a running program that takes someone from not being a runner, to being able to run a 5K. I completed the program years ago and was so proud of myself. Then I hurt my foot and stopped running. Last year, when I was fed up with feeling crappy all the time I decided to start up again.

Things were much tougher for me then. I was very overweight and out of shape. After the first couple weeks of the program I had difficulty progressing, so I did each week twice before I felt strong enough to move one. I ran super slow. Most people could probably walk at the pace I was 'running'. But I was still proud of myself.

Then I got lazy, and we went on vacation, and I generally neglected my running. Still, I wanted to do it, so I started over. That time I did better and got really close to finishing the program. . . and then I thought I had the flu, but actually had a perforated colon and got to spend some time in the hospital. It took longer than I expected to gain any strength back, but when I did, I started C25K all over again. My colon responded by acting back up again. Stupid colon.

Now I'm on the week 3 runs - for the fourth time in the past year, even though this time I knew going in that I would not be able to finish the program. That trouble-making colon is coming out in a couple weeks so I won't be running for a bit as I recover.

So why bother restarting the training? The same reason I can't not do NaNoWriMo. It makes me feel good. I'm proud of myself when I do it. Even though my efforts and results are not exciting compared to what I see others doing, they are pretty great for me. So after surgery, when my doctor says it's safe - I'll be starting my fifth attempt to get through the Couch to 5K program. Hopefully that will be the one I finish.

Oh - and, I'm signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 in April. I'm 'karabu' over there. Camp NaNoWriMo is similar to the November event, except you set your own word goal, and it doesn't have to be all on one novel; any project is fine. Stop by and say Hi if you're writing too!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Eye of the Beholder" eBook Giveaway

I'm playing/ experimenting with all the promotion thingamabobers over on Amazon as I learn about this whole ebook publishing gig.

So, I've made an Amazon giveaway for my ebook, "Eye of the Beholder and other stories". This is a little different than the free book promotion I ran when I first published the collection. In that case, Amazon let me set the price to free for a limited period, and anyone who wanted it could download it without cost.

The giveaway has a limited number of copies available. Five copies in this case, and I paid for them. Anyone who wants one enters and has a 1 in 100 chance to win. So, more of a lottery situation. Sounds fun, and worth a go, so here we are. If it goes well, I'll run another giveaway next week for "Love Thy Enemy/ The Way Home".

Here is the link to enter the giveaway for "Eye of the Beholder and other stories".

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Zito the Rat 2013 - 2016


Is this not the most adorable rat you have ever seen?  

He is our rat, Zito, who passed away today just a month or two short of his third birthday. He came to us when his owners dumped him off at the sister veterinary hospital to the one I work at. My friends there knew we had a rat, so they called and asked if we wanted this little guy too. 

Often, I've noticed, rescued pets, or those that you find yourself with unexpectedly turn out to be the best pets ever.  That was true of Zito anyway. I've had lots of pet rats over the years. At least ten that I can think of off the top of my head. But Zito was special. He, more than most of the other rats I've known, seemed to really love human company. He was snugly. Loved his ears rubbed. He was just plain fun to be with.

Our other rat at the time Zito came to us was named Frito. We thought we would give the new guy a matching name. I suggested Cheeto, but the kids didn't like that. They argued he wasn't orange, so it didn't work. They came up with Zito. Since then he has been the subject of many stories and poems and other school writing assignments. In fact, I just realized today that I have never given a character a pet rat, and that needs to be remedied. 

Thank you Michelle for taking such good care of him at the end for us. 

He will be greatly missed. Small lives can still  have a big impact on our hearts.