Wednesday, March 8, 2017

National Cereal Day!

This holiday was actually yesterday. There are so many different types of cereal out there. Interesting to have a day for it. For cold cereal, I normally like Honey Nut Cheerios. For hot, usually oatmeal with some light syrup, raisins, a little Splenda, and cinnamon. Sometimes I'll have cream of rice. I might do a similar thing as the oatmeal with it.

Well, only Dad and I showed up for the first local ace group meeting. I'm a bit disappointed, but at least it symbolically started. People might need to get used to the time. 2 people said they were planning to go, but they ended up doing other things at the same time.

Since I was already at the cafe, I got an iced chai. It was so overfilled that when I tried to poke the straw through, the liquid spurted out. It was good, though. Actually better than the Starbuck's version. Also, got a Texas pecan pie bar. It was huge and really tasty. Pecan pie is one of my fave pies, and to have it in bar form was interesting. Probably shouldn't have had it because of the whole nuts. They were very soft, and there wasn't very many.

Next time the meeting will be at a different cafe. Hopefully other people will be there. I thought in the past that it might be best to meet at somebody's house. Just to have it safer and more 'private'. I'm wondering if some people don't want to talk or be out about it in public. I can see why that would be scary. However, maybe some want to make sure they get to know people before doing something like that. So, I can see both sides of this. If we had it at someone's home I could use my huge flag for the meeting. It'd be easier for the dessert potluck part, too. I decided to skip that until we talk things out in person. For the time being, since we're meeting at cafes, we can grab desserts there.

I unpublished my 2 ebooks from Smashwords, and enrolled them both in Amazon's KDP Select's program. While they're enrolled, they can't be sold anywhere else. They weren't doing much with Smashwords and its distributors, so I thought this would be a good thing to do. With Select, there are 2 promos you can choose from, they're put into something similar to a library, it's open to more countries, etc. The terms are 3 months long, and you can reenroll after each one.

For Alliance, I chose the Kindle Countdown Deal. They won't let you start it until after it's been enrolled for a month. So, I scheduled it for the beginning of next month. You can only do it for a week at most during the entire term. It'll have 4 price increments. It'll start with 80% of, then 60%, and so on. People will see the regular price (which will now be $4.99) next to the discounted one. I'll still get the same percentage in royalties. Even though it'll dip below the normal $2.99 mark. Usually, anything less than that, and you'll only get 35%. At that mark and more, you get 70% back. That's a lot better, and I'm glad they keep it with this promo.

With Sweet Endless Terror, I chose the Free Book Promotion. That you can you do right away. I scheduled that to start today, and it'll go until the 12th at midnight. Apparently, you can't schedule it to start before 8am. So, it ends up being slightly less than 5 days worth...It can only be for 5 days each term. I chose this one for the free promo, since it's shorter and set to be cheaper than Alliance. (It'll be $3.99 normally.) After the 5 days are up, they'll briefly put it on the paid 100 Amazon Best Seller List. This will help with exposure, too.

Last time I checked, I've 'sold' 8 today through the free book promo. That's not bad for the first 9 hours. With each one sold (even if it's free), the ranking for that book goes up. More people will see it this way. It gets suggested more often, and can make it onto certain lists. So, that in itself can be awesome. With selling it for free, I still get something out of it.

I like that the promos will be one after the other. There will be some time between them, and a month without until the term ends. I think this will help a lot. Then, I could start all over again when I reenroll. It'll expose it to even more people this way.

Also, with their library, I get paid for every page that's read. It's quite a bit different with how much you get back. It varies, and I think it depends on how much is in a given 'pool' of money that they get. They take that into account and how many pages have been read, and that's what you get back. There's also a set maximum amount of pages that I don't even come close to. Something like 30,000. The longest one of mine, Alliance, is about 400 pages...No matter how long somebody takes to read it, I'll still get paid. Even if it's after the Select term is over and I don't reenroll. Pretty awesome! I've read that people can be paid quite a lot this way. I'll still think of it as 'extra' compared to selling them like usual.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

National Peanut Butter Lovers Day!

This holiday was yesterday. Yay for peanut butter! Although, I have to be in the mood for it. Sometimes I really love it, other times it feels too heavy/rich. I sometimes make a peanut butter and nutella sandwich, instead of having it with jelly. Sometimes I make a pudding out of just peanut butter and nutella, or jelly in place of the nutella. Probably not very healthy, but really good. I like the crunchy kind the most. The creamy one is easier to digest, though. It's a good source of protein, too.
This is my wallpaper for March. It's Rin from Ao no Exorcist or Blue Exorcist. Seemed spring-like and cool to me. I've also been watching the new anime season. It's interesting to see this arc in action. The manga is way ahead of this one. The characters have matured quite a bit since this. The plot has gotten more complicated, too. So, it's interesting in those ways as well. It'll be cool if they go past this arc, but I doubt it. 

The month-long holidays are: National Celery Month, National Frozen Food Month, National Noodle Month, National Peanut Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, National Women's History Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. I'm Irish-American, so that's great to have a month celebrating part of my heritage. I love noodles! Frozen food doesn't nearly get the credit it deserves, so it's great that it's celebrated all month long. 

My Pusheen calendar features a dinosaur theme. She's a dinosaur making 3 different poses. There are eggs, plants, and fossils. She's popping out of a colorful egg at the bottom. Cute. 

Still haven't gotten a Jewish calendar. Not sure if I will...The month of Adar started recently. It's the 6th month of that calendar. Purim happens midway through the month. Might have my own little party for it. Pesach or Passover will be next month. It feels like it's too soon...

Speaking of Pesach, this past weekend, we went to QFC in Seattle and got a bunch of stuff for the holiday. They have one of the largest selections of Pesach stuff in the region. Heck, the amount of their normal kosher stuff is massive. Amazing place. I didn't have a list, so I went with what I know I like, what I think I'll use, and a few new stuff to try. Haven't had an Osem's (an Israeli company) cake in a long time, and this one's chocolate chip. I don't think I've had that one. In the past, it's usually been the marble one. They're really soft and will melt in your mouth. This was the 2nd year I've seen a chocolate seder plate. I thought it was too out there last year. This time, I thought: why not? Seems large and thick.

Decided to not make my own granola this year. They had canisters of premade ones. I'm tempted to see if our local market will have premade charoset. I don't want to have to go through with the whole process of peeling, coring, and chopping the apples; then crushing the walnuts. It'll make it a lot easier if they do. I don't care if it's not chunky anymore. Actually that might make it easier to digest for me. I might use a roasted beet again for the bone part of the plate. 

The 1st meeting of the local ace group I formed on fb will be this Saturday at a cafe. I'm really excited about it! Even if most of the people that show up are allies, that'd be awesome! We're up to 11 people at the moment. It'd be interesting if all 11 showed up. Maybe, there will be more. Since I heard a couple of allies knew a few. Hope they'll have enough room for us, if that's the case. That might be a little too good.

Went to the local trans group meeting last night. I'm an ally, and my parent started the group. Anyways, I brought up the local ace group in my recent news part. Someone I haven't seen in a while wanted to know more about asexuality. I thought that was cool. Only, I don't think he quite understood some of it. Saying he thinks he's the opposite of ace threw me off a bit. Asexuality is kind of it's own thing. Although, there is a spectrum with aces on one side and sexuals on the other. The ones in between are still under the ace umbrella. With that way, sexuals might be considered the opposite, but it still doesn't quite feel right. I think he was thinking about being hypersexual. Some aces are, but it's like there's no 'target'. So, that doesn't really work, either. Now that I think about it again, it's probably pansexuality that's the 'opposite'. They are attracted sexually to people regardless of gender. Doesn't mean they're super sexual, or that they fall for everyone they see. Just...it doesn't matter. I honestly think pans have a lot in common with aces. I remember seeing a comic concept about 2 friends. 1 being ace and the other pan. They were going to call it All or Nothing. The ace was going to be super outgoing and affectionate with people, while the pan would essentially be the opposite. Trying to dispell stereotypes, as well. Not sure if they actually made that comic, but it sounds like it'd be cool. 

I don't think he quite got aromanticism, either. (It's totally understandable that he didn't quite get either of these. This was the first time he had heard about either of them. He was also very respectful and polite about it.) I mentioned that I'd like a qpr (after explaining it), but how would I ask someone to be in one with me? Being aro, dating is strange. Some aros like dating, but it's kind of for recreation or something. (Similar with some aces and sex.) Most don't quite understand it for themselves. They might get the concept for other people. Most romantics/sexuals will hope it leads to certain destinations I don't really want or desire/need. Many will say they were lead on, if it doesn't go that way. He said things like not all dating is romantic. I'm sorry, but even the concept of dating is super romanticized. It might not start out that way, but again, most will hope (and need) for it to lead to romance and sex. I seem to be battling amatonormitivity with wanting a different sort of relationship. Many aros and aro aces want to promote other types of relationships and loves, to show that there's more out there and they are just as important as romantic ones. Even on AVEN there are romantic aces that look down on all aros, regardless if they're ace too. They think we're cold, heartless, can't love, etc. Our love is just different. Doesn't mean it's any better or worse than your romantic love. Plus, if that was the only type of love out there, wouldn't that be boring? He wanted to join the local ace facebook group to learn more, which is great. It'll be interesting if he goes the 1st or future meetings offline. 

Finished revising/editing Sweet Endless Terror: An anthology of Nightmares. I'm pulling both this and Alliance off of Smashwords, and therefore their distributors. I plan to opt in for both ebooks to Amazon's KDP Select program. It's exclusive. So, it can't be sold anywhere else. I was reluctant about it, but they weren't doing much on Smashwords. With Select, Amazon will promote it for me, which will be nice. I won't opt-in until next week. It takes a week at most for Smashwords' distributors to stop selling them. Takes just a few days for the revised version of SET to become available. I'm adding a dollar to both prices. So, SET will be $3.99, and Alliance will be $4.99. (SET is quite a bit shorter than Alliance.) After this, I'll start making print versions of both. That should be fun. Hopefully, it'll take less time than it did for the revisions.

Recently started watching Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan or the Disastrous Life of Saiki K. I'm liking it a lot more than I thought I would. It's basically about an incredibly powerful/talented psychic named Saiki. (Yes, his name is a play on the word 'psychic'.) He has many abilities. The problem is, is that he's too powerful. He has to wear 2 devices in his hair that look kind of like pink bolts, but he tells people they're clips. They keep him 'grounded'. He has to wear transparent gloves, so he doesn't look into the past of every object and person he touches. He even changes the way people view the world. Like getting them to think his pink hair is normal. Apparently, this also gave others different crazy colored hair. (This is probably a jab at the crazy hair colors that show up in anime.) He levitates, can teleport, reads people's thoughts, and apparently never actually speaks. Just sends his thoughts to the person speaking to him. They apparently think he's speaking normally. He also wears green sunglasses to suppress more of his visual powers. It's also about how things can go wrong when you're so powerful. It's interesting, I think he may be aro. Maybe even ace, although there aren't many hints on that. (He doesn't seem to be into sex, though.) He said it himself, that he doesn't understand romance, or why anyone would want it. He goes out of his way to avoid girls who want to confess to him. However, he will try to help his friends, if he thinks they're going to break up. He doesn't want them to get hurt. For some of it, I feel I can relate to him. There aren't many aro, ace, or aro ace character representations in media. There needs to be more, and they shouldn't stereotype them. Really, that aro part is treated as just who he is, and nothing more. Not like he's heartless or uncaring. He might care a little too much at times, getting into dangerous or crazy situations because of it.

Started watching Kaitou Tantei Yamaneko or The Mysterious Thief Yamaneko. Yamaneko lit. means mountain cat, but can be referred to as wildcat. There are some cat sound effects, and he sometimes acts like one. He also puts a cat mask on when he's stealing something or doesn't want his identity known. It's very interesting. I don't think I liked it at first, but it's grown on me. Yamaneko's basically a detective that gets back at the criminals by stealing evidence or setting them up so the cops can find them. I love the actor who plays him, Kazuya Kamenashi. He's also a member of the band KAT-TUN. I've seen several other things he's acted in, and he's really good. Almost every character he plays has had a different personality and quirks. It must be difficult for a good singer to play a character that's tone-deaf. His character sings horribly quite often. He pulls it off well, though. Another actor I love, Hiroki Narimiya, plays a journalist that ends up teaming up with Yamaneko. I haven't seen him in anything in a long time. His best and most memorable role, I think, was probably playing the main villain in Bloody Monday. The journalist is quite different, though. He seems naive and kind. However, there are some slight hints that that might be an act. Knowing about something Yamaneko never told him, and telling someone else about it. He had no way of knowing unless he saw it, or is guilty of something. I love another actress, Nene Otsuka, who plays a character that's also apart of Yamaneko's team. That character owns a bar with the same name, and is constantly giving him ramen. It's basically where they all live. She coordinates a lot of stuff for him. The actor who plays a detective who's apart of the team as well, seems to always play a detective. Usually corrupt. Interesting show so far.

Trickster has been weird. The only part I'm interested in is Kobayashi, his power, and past. (Which has kept me watching to see if there's more about it.) I could care less about 20 Faces, Akechi, or even Hanasaki. It seemed like it started with Kobayashi's stuff and barely revealed anything about him. Then it's essentially been fixated on 20 Faces vs Akechi, and pretty much everyone picking on Hanasaki because he was used by 20 Faces. That stuff got old quickly. We're about 19 episodes (only a few left) in and they finally touched a bit more on Kobayashi during the last episode I saw. That's a long time. He has amnesia, a special ability that protects him from pretty much anything, and he wants to die because the ability won't let him. That ability will even force feed him things off the ground if he's trying to starve himself. Bullets get thrown up if they get past the barrier it makes. He can't touch or have someone touch him, because it'll slice the other person's arm off to protect itself. He accidentally ingested poison at one point, and his body just turned the poisoned food into a ball and made him hack it up. We did get some glimpses into his past. His mom was apparently very ill, hooked up to IVs, hacking up blood, and bed bound. His dad would try to beat him, and say it was all his fault. At least, we think those were his parents. They lived near an amusement park, which is where the group was headed at the end of the episode. The only thing I found relevant with 20 Faces is that he has powers, too. He finds Kobayashi interesting. They found out if Kobayashi feels that he wants to live, his barrier/power weakens. Thus, making it easier to be killed. If he goes back to wanting to die, it strengthens those powers. So, he's in a situation where he can't win either way. It'll be interesting to see how he got those powers, and what actually made him forgot about his past.