I updated my computer yesterday, which is why there was no blog post. It wasn’t terribly complicated, but by the time it finished, I didn’t have enough minutes left in the day to be able to blog. Sorry about that. But I can now use some spiffy new software, software that I have no idea how to use, as soon as I figure out just that.

The view from one of my favorite channels on YouTube—Virtual Railfan’s Deshler, Ohio, camera (the 360 one, not the normal stream)—often features prominently on its right-hand side a large tree. I’d not tuned in to said channel for a few days, so it was surprising to see that the tree is nearly bare of all leaves today. The grass is still bright green, most of the other trees still have leaves even if a few are fading or growing thin, but this one tree… it’s ready for bitter winds and harsh sleet. Ugh. Better the tree than me.

Coming south again, here we sit in warm weather. I never intended to move to Laurel County. Truly, when I “sent” Logan and Amelia here, I never thought we’d “join” them. So when we’re out and about, there are certain stretches of road we travel that make me think of them and their kids. It’s a bit surreal, to be honest.

I’m getting ready to start the character bios and business bios for the new series. Making a list, checking it twice, figuring out who’s naughty and who’s nice isn’t just a job for Santa. Us writers get to do that as well. Only, in our world, sometimes it’s the naughty kids who get the biggest presents. 😉

Speaking of writing and the business side of things, I found out some information today that confirmed a suspicion I’d had for a while regarding readership. It wasn’t really good news, but at least it was confirmation that I wasn’t imagining things. I’m not “in the know” very much in writing, as I just tend to keep my head down and write, and I let people smarter than me figure out things like algorithms and marketing tactics and the like. My mind simply doesn’t operate very well in that universe, though I admire greatly those whose minds do. And I have a few people I trust who do understand that and can explain it to those of us who can’t.

But this news, which is that a large portion of the readers (in the romance genre in particular) have moved from online retailers to elsewhere, didn’t involve complicated explanations of algorithms. It was simple—readers have moved. I might not understand algorithms but I understand motivations and people to a larger degree. Well, crud.

Now, the question becomes, what do I do about that? As much as I hate to say this, it will end up impacting what I’m writing, which we’ve already discussed is going to change focus somewhat. That impact is basically going to be that it underlines my decision. Again, I’m not stopping the Firefly Hollow series. But I’m definitely going to be paying more attention to the other ideas for a little while. If I didn’t have to make this work financially, the stakes wouldn’t be as high. I’d love to say they aren’t, but… well, mortgage. And at least I know now. That does take a bit of weight off, even though the news about the readership wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

Am I upset about this news? Yeah, to be honest. I am a little. More sad than anything, I think. I know a lot of good writers that I “came up with” in this Indie class from the last few years have stopped writing, and I know this is a big part of why. I also am “seasoned” enough to know there’s not a blasted thing that can be done about it. We’re all part of an evolving market, and the hurdles keep getting higher and higher. That’s the nature of things. Some of us are good at jumping, some of us are not. Me personally? I feel like I got stuck on top of the hurdle and I’m teeter-tottering precariously. Just picture a rather unfortunate turtle with a wide-eyed look that says “oh, s**t” and that’s me. I’m aiming to land on the soft ground and not the hard rocks, but it’s going to take some effort. I’m up for it though. Now that I know for sure what’s going on, I can plan around it to some degree—at least until it changes again. And if there’s one thing I know without a single doubt, it’s that in this business, it ALWAYS changes.

Happy Reading!