7 Quick Takes about winners, 100th birthdays, blue-blocking glasses, and my desperate need for Youtube recommendations
Today marks the end of the official launch party for Something Other than God! To celebrate, we arranged for the book to go out of stock on Amazon just this morning! Okay, we didn’t arrange that. And I stared at my computer and screamed, “WHYYYYYY!” in my head. But the timing is eerily appropriate.
The 7 Quick Takes contest ended last week, and I am delighted to announce that the winner is…
I’ve been familiar with Cindy’s blog, The Veil of Chastity, for a long time, and I’m always impressed with her thought-provoking posts on the modern single life. I keep meaning to take some time to get to know her blog better, and her winning this contest was just the nudge I needed. I can’t wait to browse her archives, and recommend that you do as well!
(UPDATED: I actually forgot when I wrote this that what I had offered as the prize was…the option for me to buy her a banana suit. I’m thinking that Cindy is waaaay too classy for that, but you never know!)
People have been emailing me about Amazon’s out of stock notice, asking when Ignatius Press is going to ship more books to them. It seems like it would be that simple, doesn’t it?
For those of you who are fellow book nerds, publishing nerds, or people who have lost bets that involve you having to read every word of one of my tangents about being a writer, I’ll now share with you an insider glimpse into how the modern publishing industry works:
This is Amazon:
If you’re reading this on email, click through to see the video.
Replace the words “open the pod bay doors” with “accept more copies of my book to sell,” and you have a very accurate idea of how the system works.
Amazon will not allow publishers to ship books to them unless they request them, and sometimes HAL — err, their internal order algorithm — isn’t properly triggered to request books, even if there is demand for them.
Things are looking good for getting SOTG back in stock, but every time I think of my publisher arranging the shipment, I picture a creepy computer voice saying, I’m sorry, Ignatius, I’m afraid I can’t do that.
I was going to give actual stats for Amazon’s market share in that last take, because evidently I’m running for SuperNerd of the year. Anyway, I set out to type percentage of people who buy books from Amazon, and was startled by the suggested searches Google kept throwing at me:
If a time-traveler were to come to me and ask what it’s like to live in America in 2014, I think I might just show him this screenshot and call it a day.
My grandfather turned 100 yesterday! He was born on the family farm, here in central Texas, on May 15, 1914. He remembers seeing his first airplane. He remembers when the radio and the telephone were the big new inventions. His family didn’t have electricity until he was older. He knew people who used horse-drawn carriage as transportation. He turned 40 in 1954. Isn’t it amazing to consider how much change he’s seen in his life?
He’s an engineer by background, a self-taught gourmet cook, and probably the most humble, generous person I’ve ever met. Until recently he made lavish dinners for us on a regular basis — and for my daughter’s First Communion party last weekend, he made a cheesecake from scratch that is quite possibly the most delicious dessert I have ever tasted.
One of his favorite activities in recent years has been cooking for our priests as part of our parish meal ministry. Even though he isn’t Catholic, he has always said that making meals for the priests of our parish has been one of his life’s greatest honors. A couple of years ago our former associate pastor, Fr. Jonathan, sent an email talking about how much he liked my grandfather’s meals. My grandfather was so moved that he posted it on the wall in his dining room.
I’m an only child and my dad’s an only child, so I’m my grandfather’s only grandchild. It is one of the greatest gifts of my life that he’s lived long enough for me and my children to know him well. Please say a prayer for him, as he’s been having a tough time due to failing health lately. He is a very special person.
I got these glasses because they supposedly block blue light and make it easier to go to sleep after you’ve been staring a glowing screens:
I know, know: Flux.
The reason I got the glasses instead of installing that program is because a) I didn’t think Flux blocks blue light (though I might be wrong), b) I look at a wide variety of glowing screens at night and was too lazy to install it on all of them (which probably indicates that I have a problem), and c) I wanted an excuse to have glasses so that I could take a picture of myself wearing them and post it in Instagram (which definitely indicates that I have a problem).
This is the first night I’m trying them. I am currently typing at 11:00 PM and hope to go to sleep soon after I finish this post, so we’ll see if they seem to help. I’ll be reporting results on Twitter, as I do with all important news.
Informal survey: Do you follow any Youtube channels? My daughters recently discovered teen vlog sensation Bethany Mota, and because she is made of sweetness and glitter, I couldn’t get enough of her videos either. After a brief detour of being the creepy woman twice her age who watches all her updates and tries to catch her attention with witty commentary about her nail polish choices on Twitter, I’m looking for some (ahem) more appropriate channels to add to my portfolio. Any suggestions?
Have a great weekend, everyone!