Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lack of Oxygen

This is my karma.

I ship my nebulizer to the other side of the country in an effort to keep my parent out of the hospital and promptly become sick.

I have a pulmo appointment soon and will request a new neb then. My unit is pretty old anyway. I guess in the interim I will make do with spacer delivered albuterol and pulmicort added to the Symbicort already in use.

To boot, I was just getting into a good groove going on the exercise, too. I cannot win. Like ever.

I also took a stab at making an appt with the pancreas specialists the GI doc recommended. This is in the system where I repeatedly have been unable to make an appt. This latest attempt was no different. Heavy call volume, please press 2 and we'll call you back....except option 2 malfunctioned.


I feel like my medical care is an SNL skit.

Also, I'm not breathing so well, so the stringing words together thing may be kind of loopy.

Oh and my parent is doing well. Bouncing back very fast, so fast, you would think they were 40 and I was 65. Gah. I'm glad they are recovering well, but it is depressing to see how much more resilient they are than I am. I don't bounce back and being younger seems to offer no advantage in my body.

Writing Update

I'm not sure I'll be a paid writer for much longer. The industry has continued to devolve in apocalyptic ways. My earnings are now back to what they were when I first published, back when no one knew my name and I had no idea how to market a book. If I can fall that low when I have fans, a strong marketing skill set and several popular books...well, it does not bode well.

The truth is, you can hit bestseller lists and have a fan base and still see everything you built disappear. There are no guarantees in this business.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do. A lot will depend on what actually happens in 2015. I can get by making less money (which the way things are going it will be a lot less) but I also have to make enough to cover expenses.

Most of the problem is Amazon's KU program, which has not been a boon to authors (or readers). It's complex, but basically Amazon favors KU books over all other books, so if you're not exclusive to Amazon (which KU requires) you're kind of SOL. And they cut royalties by about 30% (more in some cases, depending on the book price). So where I used to earn $2.10 per sale, with KU, it's $1.33 and declining.

If writers go with short stories or serial stories, they can make KU work for them at a 99 cent price point, but while I do  tend to write short, I'm not interested in being locked into 99 cents or in only writing short stories. There's a point at which writing becomes sweatshop labor, where I will work harder and harder for less and less. That's why I stopped pursing traditional publishing. I value my quality of life. If I'm going to work like a dog, the pay has to reflect that. Otherwise, I'll find something else to do.

Scammers are all over KU. I just saw a book titled 'All About A' that's in KU. If you look inside, all you see is AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. The whole book. That's it. And Amazon allows that to be sold and take up space on their site to compete with legitimate authors.

Meanwhile, none of the other platforms can compete with Amazon on sales volume (although with KU mucking things up royally, that may change shortly).

Further, there's a ton of saturation. Too many books. Too many writers when the number of readers has stayed the same.

And my genre may be weakening. That's my gut feeling. I could be wrong (I hope I am) but my sense is my genre isn't selling like it used to.

I would like to continue. I have more stories I want to tell, but writing may have to go back to being a hobby. I don't know.  Plus I have no idea what kind of job I want anymore.

Kiddo Update

She's really good at math. I think I've mentioned that, but I'm still stunned. Like really good at math. Like working out multiplication on her own. Wow.

And she's discovered legos. So I'm thinking she's going to be a math person. We'll see. I'm still crossing my fingers that she will find her love of reading, too.

I read over some things I wrote when she was a baby and the gifted stuff was so obvious even at such a young age. I was aware that she was ahead back then, but I didn't understand it. I still don't, but I'm learning.

She had the bug I have, but in her it was an hour long sore throat. For me, it's asthma central. Funny how that works.

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