Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chasing Thrones and Other Stuff

First up, today is the FREE! release of "Part Twenty-one: The Chase," which is pretty much what it sounds
like except without any cars or boats or anything like that. But more about that in a moment...

The next bit of news I have is that I'm now part of the Out of Print group. The blog is going to be about featuring short stories. I have one coming up in June, but there are already two on the site. Drop by and check it out, leave a comment, all that jazz. Maybe, there will be jazz. Not right now, but you can't rule that kind of thing out, especially if I say, "Hey, we should have jazz," which I probably won't, but you never know. And I mean exactly that, you never know.

Now for the other thing:
Our washing machine broke. That happened in the middle of a-to-z and all the crazy deadlines I have coming up here at the end of the school year, so it took longer to take care of than I really wanted it to. What that means is that I had to completely rearrange the garage so that we could have a new washer brought in and the old one taken out.

And I just have to say that it's more than a little bit bogus that we had to buy a new washing machine. Not that we had to buy one in-and-of-itself, because the old machine was, well, old, BUT the last time it broke (granted, that was something along the lines of 15 years ago), we were able to get it fixed at a reasonable cost, but you can't do that anymore. Basically, the cost of having the old washer fixed was going to cost us the price of a new one, and that just bothers me. It bothers me that you can't have things fixed anymore, because our society doesn't believe in fixing the old stuff; it only believes in buying new stuff. I do like the new washer; it's all water efficient and stuff, which is good for the environment, BUT I hate that everything is made around this idea of throwing it away and buying something new when the time comes.

But all of that is beside the point, because the point is this: While I was rearranging the garage, I found
Yes, that is a first edition copy of A Game of Thrones, only read once, by my wife before I met her (and that is, indeed, my thumb in that picture). She didn't care enough about it to ever want to read the next one, so it's just been in storage, mostly, since then. I checked around ebay and copies like this one (sans dust jacket) have been going for over $100, so we're going to sell it. However, before I stick it up for auction, I thought I'd see if there are any of you out there that might be interested in it before I dump it off on the highest bidder. Aside from the fact that it doesn't have a dust jacket, it's in great shape.

As mentioned above, today is the FREE! release of part 21 of Shadow Spinner, so, if you can't afford the copy of Thrones, you can still come away with FREE! stuff. Here is today's list of FREE!:
"Part Twenty-one: The Chase" (FREE! Monday, May 13 and Tuesday, May 14)
(The rest of these will only be FREE! on Monday, May 13.)
"Part Twenty: The Sword of Fire"
"Part Nineteen: Lost in the Garden"
"Part Eighteen: The Angel"
"Part Fourteen: Anger and Laughter"
"Part Thirteen: The Clearing"
"Part Twelve: The Gash in the Floor"
"Part Eleven: The Kiss"
"Part Ten: The Broken Window"
"Part Eight: The Cold and The Dark"
"Part Seven: The Moth and the Shadow"
"Part Six: The Man with No Eyes"
"Part Five: The Police Car"
"Part Four: The Cop"
"Part Two: The Kitchen Table"
"Part One: The Tunnel"
So there you go... 16 of 21 of the current Shadow Spinner pieces available for FREE! today. Spread the word! Spread it like peanut butter. Not regular butter. Unless it's melted. That could be okay. But don't try to spread it like cold butter, because that just rips your bread up and makes a mess.


  1. They're not free yet but thanks for doing this. Will be back to check the links again.

  2. Yay, I actually saw it on time, so am passing it along on my blog tomorrow.

    I hate the throwaway mentality, too, but have no choice when getting an appliance fixed will cost more than buying a new one. You'd think the appliance mechanics (or whatever one wants to call them) would make their services cost a reasonable amount so they'd make money instead of the appliance manufacturers, but I guess they're getting paid by the manufacturers or stores via the warranties, so maybe they've got a good thing going? I guess they must.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  3. Yay. What luck that I decided on checking in again today. Thanks.

    I agree about this generation being the throw-away generation and they say that our generation weren't environmentally friendly or green or whatever the latest buzz-word is. We used to get our milk in glass bottles and the dairy would wash, sterilise and use them again. We used push-power lawnmowers where the fuel we used helped to keep our weight down. We fixed everything which needed fixing - from clothes to machines; we recycled everything too - from clothes to machine parts.

  4. I hope you get some interest from this. Shared on my Facebook page as well...

  5. Snagged the freebie!

    Now that was a good find for you! I call that hidden treasure. Surely you won't have any trouble finding a buyer for it. Wishing you the best on the sale and on buying a new machine.

  6. Don't you just hate buying huge appliances like that? It's such an important investment.

  7. First edition? Now that's cool.
    Most machines now it's far cheaper to just buy a new one. I don't know how television repair shops survive and the like survive.

  8. Its a throw away world. Luckily we don't own our laundry machines so if they break its not our concern. We also have two of each on every floor so that makes life good.

    Funny, the first book of the Game of Thrones was the one I liked best, I thought the story got somewhat stupid after that.

    Still waiting for the completed book of the Shadow Spinner.


  9. I'm super envious of your first edition, but not envious enough to add it to my collection. I'm a GoT fan, just not to that extent. I am, however, a collector of Stephen King first editions, and thanks to my mom I have almost every single book of his in first edition.

  10. That GoT book is a very cool find.

    I downloaded my copy of The Chase this morning.

  11. Dammit! I don't have any money right now or I'd bid on that Game of Thrones book. I'm saving every penny for a possible down payment should a house come knocking. I put an offer in on Thursday and hear about it today. Sigh.

  12. That's that is a pretty sweet book. I saw one at a used bookstore here for a few dollars a couple of months ago and I freaked out. I had my hands full so I ran to get a basket and when I got back someone else had the book in his hands and was also freaking out. Oh well. I'll just have to have George give me one next time he stops by to hang out

  13. It'd probably be worth a lot more if you could get him to autograph it for you.

  14. How cool is that??
    I just started the TV series last night. Very engaging.
    Sucks about the washer but now you'll have some money cuz of it. :)

  15. Wow, you should clean out the garage more often. Or maybe come and clean out mine. I got boxes and boxes of books you can go through. :P

    But really cool find. I hope you get a ton for it.

  16. Rearrange the garage?!!! I'm thinking of my garage and all the stuff I'd have to do to make room. Then I'm thinking about that old comedy routine (was it George Carlin?) talking about how we fill up our garages with all this garbage and park our expensive cars outside. Then I thought of my wife's car out in the driveway.

    Anyway, I sure agree with you about the disposable nature of everything any more. It is sad. Nobody repairs stuff anymore. Now we ship old broken stuff overseas so they can dismantle it and turn it back into new stuff. It's crazy!

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  17. Nice find on the book.

    One thought: If it's cheaper to build a new washing machine than to fix the old one, that presumably means that the cost of raw materials and labor etc etc are less for the former than the latter, which means economically speaking, the smart choice is to buy a new one and toss the old one out.

    That's not to say 'ecologically speaking' of course, but if you're going to go that route you have to ask about the ecological cost of repair versus the ecological cost of replacement. Let's assume that when you buy a new washing machine, they make one from scratch (if only to replace the one you bought). That seems like a lot of effort/ecological/economical cost -- shipping the raw materials all over, hiring assembly people, etc., and eventually hauling it up the front stoop to your house.

    BUT: that same amount of work went into your OLD washing machine, so the old and the new are tied in terms of ecological costs. OR maybe the new one is a lesser cost than the old one, because things are more efficient now. For example, your new washer could be shipped by hybrid car that uses fewer fossil fuels.

    Your newer model may also be more energy efficient, so that over the next 10 years, a Repaired/Old model might burn X amount of fossil fuels to run, while a newer, more efficient model might burn <X fossil fuels, so you have to factor that in.

    "But," you say, "I've already spent the energy, etc., on the old one, so if we believed in repair rather than replace, the new one would never have left its footprint on the earth, and we would have had no option but to repair." Which still leaves you with the extra costs imposed by not making the washing machine more efficient, plus the repairman's trip out to your house to fix the old one.

    In other words, I don't think the "repair or replace" is an answerable question, not the way you've phrased it. Instead, the question should be "how can we most efficiently allocate scarce resources including money, labor, steel, and fuel," and maybe the answer is "Buy the new washing machine but have a reasonable way to recycle the old," which is an alternate route to get where you want to go, which I assume is "the least use of resources."

    ALSO: I downloaded 21 and will read it. I'm behind on reviews; I got through 15 and will try to get caught up.

    ALSO: I bookmarked this new site and will check it out from time to time. Are you getting paid to do it?

  18. Sheena: I hope you make it back!

    Shannon: I think most repairmen work for places like Sears these days so get an hourly wage as opposed to being paid by the job. For Sears, they make more money by selling you a new one than by fixing the old one, so they make getting repairs cost more than they're worth.

    Fe: I never got milk in bottles, but, certainly, when I was a kid, we fixed more things than we replaced. In fact, we almost never replaced.
    And thanks for the share!

    Anne: It was hidden but much like my painting stuff was. I knew it was out there somewhere, just not where.

    JKIR,F!: I hate being forced to, yes.

    Alex: Yeah, I don't know. I'm always confused when I see something like a vacuum cleaner repair shop.

    Jo: Well, that was the only one he wrote without influence from a publisher telling him to drag it out.

    ABftS: That's pretty cool. I barely even own any King and still haven't read anything by him.

    M.J.: Yea!

    Michael: Well, I hope they accept your offer. You're in the worst stage of home buying.

    Rusty: Oh, man, that sucks! You should have dropped everything else and picked that up and, then, gone to get the basket.
    We don't have any used-book stores in the area that carry hardbacks.

    PT: Oh, well, yeah, but that's not terribly likely.

    Pk: We're almost finished watching season 2, but I'm mostly watching it because my wife likes it. I am frequently annoyed by the stupid in it.

    L.G.: Do I get to keep the books I find?

    Lee: According to the guys that picked up my washer, they don't ship it farther than the junk yard. That's what really bothers me about it.

    Briane: Here's the thing with the washer: It was worth it to replace our old machine, because this one uses much (MUCH) less water. That difference alone makes the purchase worth it. However, if, let's say, the new one broke down, it would also be cheaper to just buy another new one rather than to get it fixed. That's my problem with the whole cost of the repairs. Even if it was something as small as, say, replacing a belt, and would take a repair guy 20 minutes to do, it would cost something like $400 to have that done. But if it was something more significant, like, say, the pump, it would cost $700-800 to have that repaired, which is more than the washer. So, if you don't know what the problem is, and that's the kind of cost difference you're looking at, and it's going to cost $100 just to have someone come out and tell you what the problem is (if, like me, you don't know how to tell what the issue is), you just buy a new one. It's a ridiculous system.

    As for the short story site, no, I'm not getting paid to do it.

  19. Nice find on the book. I remember George R.R. back when he was doing the Wild Cards series...something I -pray- sees the light of day as a t.v. show or movie!

    One of these days I'll have time to check out Shadow Spinner...hopefully, soon :)

  20. Mark: I am completely underwhelmed by Martin and by GoT. It's full of too much stupid.

    I'll be waiting to hear what you think of Spinner.

  21. Thanks for the free books. Now, if I just had time to read them all. But I know I'll always have something on my Kindle to read :)

    I'm afraid I'll need a new washer soon and it bugs the heck out of me. I remember when my dad used to fix mechanical things . . .


  22. Sorry about the washing machine. Our dryer was making an awful racket, but The Engineer but new bearings in. The first time I turned it on I thought it wasn't working, it was so quiet. He likes to fix stuff...but as I've said before, he's weird. He also fixed the swamp cooler, it needed bearings, too and submarine paint...he's handy ;-)
    Thanks for your support yesterday, meant a lot.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  23. Man, there was some planetary misalignment in April that was really hard on washers. We had THREE of us in my neighborood that either needed to fix or replace. (Ours was fixable--by US even, instead of having to call someone).

    Man, I LOVE Game of Thrones, but first edition books are out of my price range... I need to stick to my mass market paperbacks... in fact I've checked the 5th one out from the library TWICE because the paperback isn't out yet.

    Good luck with your story!

  24. Donna: I remember when my dad tried to fix things. heh
    Try part 1! It's short.

    Tina: Um... I have no idea what a swamp cooler is.

    Hart: Maybe that place where washers put all the missing socks (it's really them; they just blame the dryers) got full and the overflow affected a bunch of washers all at once.

    They're out of my price range, too. Unless I buy them when they're new.

  25. I missed the first date, but happy to get the first one for free. Thanks!

  26. Kristen: I hope you can rest next time.