Well, what a weekend that was. On Friday I had a day off work so a mate and I headed down to Shizuoka prefecture near to Mount Fuji to watch a game of World Cup Rugby. With Typhoon Hagibis approaching, we weren't sure we'd even get a game, but luckily our game (Australia vs Georgia) was still played, albeit in pouring rain.
Anticipating that the trains wouldn't be running the next day I decided to drive down (correctly, as it turned out), and after a few random events (including mistaking which CITY our hotel was in - don't ask!) we made it to the game with about fifteen minutes to spare. It was actually a pretty decent game with Georgia putting up a fight for most of it, although Australia came out winners in the end. We got lucky with our seats and actually had the rain line right in front of us. We were dry but the people on the seats in front were getting wet.
Massive congestion at the train station (in the pouring rain) meant we didn't get back to the hotel until nearly half eleven. We had hoped to meet another mate but that meeting never happened, and the big drink up we had planned ended up being two beers for me while my mate fell asleep, a quick dinner across the road and then bed, the plan being to get up early and drive back before the typhoon hit.
The next morning we were in the car by seven thirty. In Hamamatsu City where we were staying the rain was already lashing even though the typhoon hadn't made landfall yet. We decided to head westwards in the direction of Nagoya before heading north back to Nagano since the typhoon was supposed to hit to the east. As it happened, it was so big it didn't really matter.
We had a complete nightmare just getting out of Hamamatsu because the GPS kept wanting to take us on a card-only highway when we wanted a ticket gate. After lots of wasting time it finally led us to what turned out to be an unfinished highway, on which we enjoyed a clear road for about 10km before abruptly being dropping off in the middle of nowhere and having to drive 100km through a mountain pass along roads covered in leaves and fallen branches. Eventually, however, we made it to the main Nagano Expressway, which was yet to be closed. Despite not being able to get much speed up due to the rain, it was actually pretty clear of traffic, and seven hours later, I made it home.
Then of course, Saturday night, the real flooding hit the city. Where I live, perched on a little knoll far from the main river, we were fine, although some family members and friends experienced some flooding and damage. Considering the damage handed out to large parts of the city, however, we were very lucky, and my heart goes out to those people most affected by the huge floods.
Sunday and Monday I was on childcare duty. It was surreal in many ways that while helicopters flew overhead and the roads were full of emergency vehicles that I could be doing something so mundane as buying my daughter a new pillow and duvet for her bed. It's a little morbid but I really wanted to take a look at the worst of it, because seeing things with your own eyes is the only way to understand the full impact without the filter of television. However, with my daughter in the car and the road out to that area full of emergency vehicles, I did what I felt was the responsible thing and kept away from the area. Instead, I went down to the little river near my house and took a few pictures, even though its nothing compared to the major river that burst its banks. I also got a picture from up on the hill near my house, but you'd need to zoom it in to see the flooded area in the distance.
Anyway, this blog was about writing, right?
I didn't get much done over the weekend, although I've been working on the edits for the third Christmas book. As expected, its very easy going, and I'm hoping to get it off to the proofreader next week. I've got the first draft for the cover but I haven't got around to looking at it yet. I've also been doing some work on the next Slim, but its still a complete and utter mess.
Advertising ... I'm having a love-hate with Facebook ads at the moment. I restarted a Christmas ad which did really well last year, but while I've been shifting books at 99 cents, as soon as I raise the price, the sames tail off. Last year, they were selling this well at 1.99 UK, but either I'm advertising too early or people aren't spending money. Unfortunately, I make a lost at 99 cents, so every few days I pause the ads to see if the sales knock-on to book 2. If they don't, I lose money. Sometimes I think this writing is a mug's game. I have 28 books out now, yet make less than I made three years ago on half that. I've long ago given up on writing full time but I figured if I just keep putting them out by the time I retire I'll have a decent background income. At the moment, I have this fear that I could have 150 books out and barely make any money. It's certainly getting harder all the time.