First up the book news - I finished my first (and probably only) edit/read-through of my third Christmas book this morning, so it'll be going off to the editor today. I'm planning on a mid-November release which I'll probably put up on pre-order today or tomorrow. I'm pretty proud of it really - it's a fairly simple story (as most Christmas books are) but flows okay and captures the spirit of Christmas well enough, which is pretty much its main function. I'm sure readers of my other Christmas books will like it.
On the bleaker side, after switching off my last Facebook ad I've since had no Amazon sales at all in two days, and only a couple of hundred page reads on the last two books I have in the Kindle Unlimited program. Not surprising, as Amazon is pretty much pay-to-play these days and it tends to sink any books not in the Kindle Unlimited program. So that'll be about $1 profit over two days across 28 novels, three boxed sets, two collections, and a dozen or so short stories and novellas. Damn glad I started in 2012. It must be brutal for newcomers coming in now with their single pride and joy novel and hoping to make some money off it. Good luck with that.
The weekend was tiring but fun. Managed to get out for a couple of hours to a mate's on Saturday to watch England thrash Australia at rugby (always a wonderful thing), but otherwise it was pretty much all daddy/daughter time with my wife either at work or doing stuff for her parents. She likes animals so we took in both of the bigger zoos within driving distance (we also have a little free zoo nearby).
Sunday was interesting because we went to Suzaka Zoo which is pretty much off the national radar apart from a kangaroo called Hachi which liked to punch a bag hung from a rope in his cage. However, Hachi died ten years ago and is now remembered for the fleeting fame he brought the zoo with a large stone memorial and statue. The zoo also has a large display of stuffed former animals from the period 1970 - 1990 (after which they presumably decided it was getting to be a pretty morbid pursuit). My daughter was fascinated by it, but she would only let me hold her at a distance just too far for me to read any of the signs. At three years old, her most common word now is "why?" and I found myself repeatedly having to answer why the animals were indeed stuffed, bleached from the sun, and still standing inside a glass display perhaps fifty years after they died.
"So we don't forget them," was pretty much my repeated answer. Then later, I had to explain why the boxing kangaroo had a big stone memorial. "Because he brought happiness to a lot of people, and when we see the statue, we remember that happiness."
I thought this concept might be too much for her, but later, while watching her play in the nearby kids slides and swings area, I briefly lost sight of her, before spotting her moments later, wondering off in the direction of the statue, where she stood for several minutes without being aware I was watching her, lost in some personal revelation. Later, when we left, she wanted to see the statue from the car window one last time before we drove past. Not the animals themselves, but a statue of one of the animals.
I often wonder what's going on in my daughter's mind, but there's clearly something profound about the way she is learning to understand the world and the meaning of various human activities. I often wish I could still summon that sense of wonder, instead of the overwhelming jadedness I often feel. Still, my daughter brings me a sense of joy unlike little else, and for that it was worth every moment, every repeated explanation.
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