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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Trees Three Ways

First things first...for those of you who don't know, my book is now for sale through the Friesen Books website: It will be a few weeks before you can find my book online at Chapters or Amazon etc.  Truth be told, I make a larger royalty if you buy through Friesen, but if you can get a discount on the mainstream providers, you get a better deal shipping and the cost is about the same (with discount).  Thank you to everyone who has already purchased a book or forwarded the link.  The more people I can get the link out to, the more likely I'll be to maybe sell enough to break even.  (Fingers crossed!)  Enough about me and my book, I'm sure many of you have tired of it already.

We've completed another cake.  This was a whole new process, as we had to build an armature and other things we haven't done before.  It's a willow tree, in case you're wondering:

Armature before fondant etc.

 So, obviously that's a tree one way!  As to the two other ways...we have sunset pictures (yes, again!), one with a tree in highlight and the other with a tree back lit.

We really do live in a beautiful place (at least when the sun is out), despite the wind blowing cold and wintry.  BRRRRR.  We're making osso buco tonight...lovely that we have a long weekend to enjoy a nice meal!  Here's the beginnings of it:

Yum, yum, yum!  Hopefully it turns out well.  There doesn't seem to be much else going on here.  I've been busy with our AGM plans (for the credit union), cake making and book marketing.  (The last isn't my strong suit...I have yet to find a USP or "unique selling point" in common terms.  It's just a nice little book with a good story, a bit of intrigue and romance.  I added a splash of deep thought, for those who care to see it...what else can I say?)  Ron's time has been filled with seemingly endless renovations, house husband duties (he's expanded his range to include cooking dinner more frequently), his job and yard maintenance...all those trees make for a lot of raking.  It seems that I've come full circle...started with trees and ended with trees, so with that: good night.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ornithology and Postal Bags

Well, here we are in November of all things!  It doesn't really feel like November, as it's 12 degrees out and we hit 19 on Thursday.  That being said, the leaves have fallen (for the most part), we've had a bit of frost and our heating system kicks in every once in a while.  The days are definitely shorter, which makes me grumpy (Ron would add an "er" to that, I'm sure), as I don't believe that people should have to get out of bed until there is actual day light.

We've spotted yet another type of little bird in our avian paradise.  They're called Dark Eyed Juncos.  (Our particular variety is a slate coloured Junco).  Here's what the little guy looks like:

We have quite a bit of fun trying to figure out what bird is what.  There's actually a web site that let's you input various characteristics and suggests what bird it might be.  It's not as easy as it sounds, but we usually persevere and find out what our little feathered friends actually are.

On the cake front, we have completed yet another one.  This one was for a retirement party and they wanted the theme to be "Big Shoes to Fill".  Here's what we came up with:

Canada Post Mail Bag (Can you guess where the person retired from?)

Add a high heeled shoe filled with the person's interests.

The blob on the top is a book about cycling and RVing.
That's a bike tire underneath with the handle of a curling broom and spools of thread.

The thing on the right is a camp fire...there's a better picture somewhere!
Anyhow, it was kind of fun to make, but as always the time pressure kills the joy a little bit.  I have to say, I'm not the only baker in the house.  Ron turned his hand to pie making this week.  (He was inspired by the windfall of apples that covered our yard during Hurricane Sandy - thankfully she was fairly kind to us, no major disasters, unlike other places.)  He even made his own crust!

It was very delicious.  The crust was very good, but not as flaky as Ron wanted it to be.  Maybe too much fat-I'm not a pastry expert?  He's going to try again sometime in the near future.  It's a good thing we're working out!

Our epic renovations are slowly coming to and end.  We have the flooring for our upstairs hallway and only some cosmetic work left to do in the back entry and kitchen.  (What will Ron do with himself when we're done?)  He's just reminded me that he'll have more work to do if we turn the TV room in to the master bedroom.  So perhaps I was a bit hasty in claiming the renos almost done.

News on my book: it should be in the home stretch, I've signed off on the final proofs and it's going through some sort of quality control process and then being sent out to the printers.  Here's how it works: if you order my book, it's printed on demand, so you won't get it in a few days, it will likely take a week and a half (or more) with shipping taken in to consideration.  If you order the book through I get a larger cut of the purchase price, but shipping on that site is expensive (my account manager suggested trying to get some of the shipping costs back from Friesen after the fact).  If you order from the mainstream bookstores, I get a smaller cut, but you can get free delivery to one of their stores nearest you.  (It's best to order online, as you'll get a fairly good discount, that you may not get in the store itself.  Here's the pricing (I was limited in what I could price the books at and still get any royalties - so it's not exactly what I was hoping.)
     Through Friesen Press, you can order the hard copy for $25.99 or the soft cover for $14.99 (e-copy (through an affiliate) for $2.99)
     Mainstream bookstores: hard copy $34.99, soft copy $21.99 (remember the online discount and free shipping to a store nearest you!)  The discount doesn't affect my royalties, but I do get much less through the mainstream book stores - it's kind of rigged, but that's the business I guess.  (e-copy also $2.99 if available - I'm a little unclear on that.)  Well, that's it.  If you check the Friesen Press site, they have a section for "Coming Soon!" books, mine isn't there yet but I keep waiting for it to show up.  (I'll try and find out this week when to expect the "release".)

I think that's about it for now.  Be well, we hope the autumn is treating you well.  Lots of love from the little red island.