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The Eccentric Historian

My Foster Plants

Foster Plants June 2022 smaller

Sometimes people fall into a position at a company that isn’t a good fit for their interests or their skills. My favorite was a brilliant historian with a PhD who worked in a group of software engineers. I don’t know how it happened because he was there when I joined the company and the group.

He had an incredible knowledge of history, particularly of his niche specialty, but I had trouble following all his wonderful tales, so I’m not sure I ever knew what his area of expertise was. One day, he came into my office with two large, brown paper grocery sacks and set them down on my already-crowded desk. 

Inside the heavy sacks were plants and dirt. He told me that he stayed up all night  to dig up the plants in his yard because he decided to retire immediately and sell his house, and he was sure whoever bought the house wouldn’t be the right type of person to give the plants proper care. He told me what kind of plants they were, but I was still in awe of his plan to walk out and walk away from work and his house. 

He told me the plants were rare, native plants and very delicate, and I was the only one he knew that would take care of them properly, so he decided I could foster them until he bought another house and could get them back from me. 

That was seventeen years ago, and we have moved twice since he gave me the plants. We’ve never watered them, but we have divided them several times and have more pots of plants.

Six years after he abruptly disappeared, I was so inspired by his example that I gave two weeks’ notice, instead of the “expected” three months’, that I was retiring. Then I started writing…

You keep reading; I’ll keep writing! 

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Author Goals – 2022

strategy_image 2022

The road to 2022 is particularly appropriate because road trips are part of the plan.

RECAP

2018 Goals: Publish a book Results: Published two books

2019 Goals: Publish four books and earn a prestigious award Results: Published four books and received three prestigious awards.

2020 Goals: Publish four books, receive a prestigious award, sell one book through a bookstore; and stretch goal, end the year with a POSITIVE net income. Results: Published six books, received a prestigious award, sold books in US and UK bookstores, and ended the year with a POSITIVE net income.

2021 Goals: Publish six books including Book 1 of a New Series, sell a complete series through a bookstore, a wild dream of a stretch goal: end the year with a positive net income; and a bonus goal for 2021: Tame the wild unicorn.

2021 Results

  • Published six books including Books 1-3 of a new series
  • Sold 1 complete set of a series through a bookstore
  • Sold 4 complete sets of a series at in-person signing events
  • Sold and signed books at two in-person signing events
  • Wrote a short story that was included in a Halloween anthology
  • Attended a national book conference and incurred travel and lodging expenses but gained an incredible amount of knowledge.
  • Ended the year with a positive net income, and I learned a lot about marketing in 2021.
  • Tamed the wild unicorn! There’s a saying among authors that if a book receives 50 reviews on Amazon, the author receives a Unicorn. I received more than 50 reviews on 6 books: Each Book 1 in all four series, and Book 2 in two series. BOOM! Unicorns tamed!

UnicornsandCoffee

GOALS for 2022

  • Publish six books
  • Publish a Halloween novella
  • Publish a trilogy boxset
  • Write a Survivalist SciFi short story
  • Sell and sign books at four in-person signing events
  • Attend the national book conference (Road Trip, Baby!)
  • There’s a saying that when readers read more than one million pages of an author’s books in one month, the author has caught the Wild Rainbow Trout.

Bonus Goal: Capture the wild Rainbow Trout!

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Tagged by the Holiday Spirit

TJ, aka Black Dog, and Toby, aka Brown Dog, are always on guard. It’s that time of year to be watching for Santa.

A year ago on Christmas Eve, a brown, stray puppy followed our old, brown dog, Sadie down the long driveway to our farmhouse. The county animal control officer told us it was common to find abandoned puppies dumped in our rural area. Sadie must have told him to stay, because he did and became a part of our pack.

You’ll meet another abandoned dog named Toby in the RILEY MALLOY THRILLER SERIES. Book Toby is just as brave, faithful, and handsome as our farm Toby. Book Toby also has an old black lab friend, Jordy, who has a remarkable resemblance to TJ. Imagine that!

TAP to read about Toby and Jordy/TJ in TAGGED BY DEATH

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Cyber Monday Shopping

Cat Shopping on Cyber Monday

 

What do you think about on Sunday night after you’ve gone to bed? In the olden days when I was employed in the Corporate world, I’d lie awake and worry about all the stress and deadlines that had piled up from being out of the office for four days. Good times.

Last night after a weekend of being reminded by ads and emails that Cyber Monday bargains were in the works, I wondered when and how Cyber Monday got started. These days, when I wonder about something in the middle of the night, I hop online and do a little research first thing in the morning.

What I learned: In the early 2000’s, savvy marketers noticed a creeping trend of online shopping on the Monday following Thanksgiving. They surmised that people either didn’t finish all their Black Friday shopping or were opting to avoid the craziness of waiting in line in the cold at four o’clock in the morning for a bargain, only to be trampled in the crush when the doors opened at the insane hour of six am or discovered their item had been completely sold out before they made it into the store. More good times.

Each year, more and more shoppers waited until they got to work on Monday to do their online shopping on the faster, more secure Corporate internet. Of course, that was against Company Policy, but pfft.

In 2005, the US National Retail Federation coined the term “Cyber Monday,” and an entire nation became slackers at work on the Monday after Thanksgiving. In 2020, data shows that Americans spent a record $10.8 billion online by the end of Cyber Monday, and 2021 is expected to break that record.

 Not to be outdone, I’ve jumped onto the Cyber Monday train, and TAGGED BY DEATH, Book 1 of the Riley Malloy thriller series, is free today.  As a bonus, Amazon joined me and lowered the price of the $17.99 paperback to the unbelievable price of $9.92! 

 

Now’s your chance for a real Cyber Monday bargain that won’t disappear before you’ve finished your Monday morning coffee or tea!

Only the vet tech who’s a dog whisperer can identify a serial killer if she can put the pieces together before she’s murdered; death follows her.

Want the complete Riley Malloy Thriller Series with one click? Here you go!