Trials & Tribulations
5 min read

Trials & Tribulations

On the bright side, I'll have more time to write, read, and game; hobbies I've struggled to keep up with over the past two months.
A pug huddled under a tan blanket.
Photo by Matthew Henry / Unsplash

There was no post last week. I had something lined up (mostly book reviews) but then got crushed by my own aspirations, and will push that out in smaller, manageable chunks. With the perk of expanding more. It was a long post, much like this one! I was very busy with work, and worked through Easter. I barely had time for my WIP, but managed an episode for Last Train Home.

It's funny; I took this job hoping to get part-time hours (ideally twenty, twenty-five max), but for the past month I've gotten borderline thirty hour weeks. Next week I'm getting a taste of my desired hours (twenty two, three days off!), and then it's back to hell week. Yay! I love the money, but not at the expense of my free time. I might as well have signed on for full-time at this rate. I suspect I'm only getting my current hours because my coworker took off to take care of her ailing mother. But it's safe to assume she won't be returning. Why, you ask?

I learned from a third party (my girlfriend's mom), that my store's location will be closing a month from now. So I'll be out of a job soon! That's just fantastic! All this after having two unkind managers transfer out. I thought it was fate (and maybe it still is), but I'm sure they had prior knowledge and left before the shit hit the fan. It's funny to me cause we just got two new managers, but now they'll have to try and transfer out while my job rebuilds just down the street (I assume). They have a bad habit of this; leaving run down buildings rather than fixing them, and setting up shop just a short distance away.

It's really scummy. I might not have taken this job from the start if I knew I'd have to fight for a new position elsewhere (and I've only been at this job for two months, mind!), but I also never planned to stay longer than June or July, around the time we were planning to move. I still have time to job hunt and all, and while I'm receiving severance, my future predicament makes me eligible for unemployment. I don't want to relocate to another location; I chose this one because it was very close to home, and I could walk to and from when the weather was good. But having to relocate would put me at a greater disadvantage and require me to rely on rides, and that all ads up. Especially for a part-timer! It's just not worth it.

On the bright side, I'll have more time to write, read, and game; hobbies I've struggled to keep up with over the past two months. We're making some big home improvements too, before we move. Mostly things to assuage my allergies, such as investing in a futon and selling our couch (one of my main triggers). And I'll be starting maintenance shots soon! Which will save me a lot of money on Ubers, haha.

Fluid Bonding made $80.42, Last Train Home $243.47
Fluid Bonding made $80.42, Last Train Home $243.47

And finally, on to the good news! Kindle Vella bonuses were announced earlier this week, and while my earnings were down almost by half (around $185, to be exact), I still did better than I expected! Fluid Bonding under performed, but I anticipated that; it's a complete story, and I didn't market it as much last month. I did in the beginning, but quickly switched gears to get more eyes on Last Train Home. And that really paid off!

I've now exceeded my totals from last month, thanks to a few binge readers and by learning to love the Facebook exchange. Some people have been very generous, and I don't mind reciprocating if it means a bigger bonus for everyone.

I've tried finding new readers by advertising through Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, but those last two are total duds, and while I get clicks on Facebook (nothing substantial or worth gushing about; roughly twenty per ad), I'm starting to have doubts about its efficiency. I'm gonna cool it on ads after this and try to think of new strategies. I'm giving Book Funnel another go, for starters. Won't see the results until mid May, but I'm eager all the same.

On a side note, Last Train Home is not flourishing at all on Neovel, which is disappointing. Putting it behind premium might've hurt it more, but most people don't go beyond the first episode. I've got forty reads on that one, but then it takes a steep dive to ten for the second episode, and dips again beyond that. But I'll keep at it for now. All I need is one or a few binge and dedicated readers.

I kind of gave up on Twitter and rely more on people to see and engage with me or my pinned tweet. I like to talk about my WIP in #writingq threads, but will try to mention my serial more to garner interest that way. It works for my WIP, ha!

Though it is tempting to put up the draft there while I'm letting it cool, but I have to do a lot of revising and editing before I feel comfortable going that route. And at the end of the day, I'd rather cut out the middle man entirely. I'm sure it would do far better than my other Vellas, as it's a steamy paranormal romance (very popular), but then I wouldn't get to transition to ebook and paperback for at least three months. Unless I do daily releases, which is somewhat tempting.

Until you remember that a few people have had their episodes tangled up in the review system. Some, for months.

I have some short stories and novellas that would fit the platform better at the moment. Not true web serials, I'm afraid, but then most aren't; they're just novels divided up into enticing episodes. But some of my planned stories do suit the general theme; like my story with the mage con artist and her arachnid partner; that one doesn't have so much as a linear story and focuses more on ongoing schemes. There will even be a bit of romance with a sexy black vampire, at some point. But it would be hard to translate into a proper novel.

And then there's my post-apoc story, which is a bit like The Last of Us. Would be a smaller piece, as well, and read more like diary entries and features a polyamorous cast and "clean up" crew. That's the rough idea I have in my head, anyway. If I weren't so focused on my WIP at the moment, I'd be writing and posting these up. Might have to keep Early Adopter shelved just to do so, or at least give myself time to draft 10k for each.

As mentioned earlier, I will have more time on my hands after next month (or sooner, depending on my schedule). Which means I'll become highly dependent on my Vella income, so I want to have things lined up to go in May.