To my UK and Eurozone Readers

I’m sure you are aware of the looming pending change to the collection of the VAT on certain purchases in the EU. I’m looking at several options. I do not want to stop selling through Amazon.de, .fr, .co.uk, and other outlets.

Assuming that the regulation goes into effect on January 1 as it currently stands, I know I will have to raise the prices on my short stories to meet the 99 cent post-VAT minimum, and will likely raise a few other prices as well to meet the 2.99 post-VAT floor. I have not decided if I will raise other prices or just take the income hit.

In short, if you are looking at filling in your collection, especially of the short stories, you might want to purchase before January 1. I will let you know through the blog what is coming once I’ve looked at all my options. I hope the VAT change will be placed on permanent hold, or e-books will be exempted as print books are, but I’m not overly optimistic.

Thank you for being such loyal readers, and I’m sorry I have to raise some of the prices.

 

Sincerely,

Alma

Selfie Ergo Sum?

The big (as in inches of page space) story in the “Arena” section of the Wall Street Journal [link may expire] on Dec. 5th is about the “problem” of overloaded WiFi at concerts and events (like Lollapalooza). Concert goers and event attendees get very disappointed, and upset, if they cannot get rapid internet access to post their selfies and other shots onto Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and other social-media sites right then, live. As one young lady put it, if it’s not live, it’s not proof that she’s really there. This may be the ultimate First World Problem, but the article raised some troubling questions in my mind. Continue reading

Dirt Work

John Steinbeck, I believe it was, described the soil of Iowa as being so rich that you didn’t need to process it through vegetables – just eat it with a spoon. Most people wouldn’t go that far, but for someone who grew up on the short grass steppe, where the soil is thin and alkaline, the combination of yard-deep loam and sufficient precipitation is a wonder to behold. But that lovely black stuff didn’t appear out of nowhere. In fact, soil is one of the more fascinating parts of the world of prairies and woodlands. Continue reading

What is Remembered?

What do we, and our culture or “tribe,” keep from the past? What do we remember and/or preserve, and why? Family stories, usually about great events, odd events, “that” cousin or aunt ( you know, the one that the older folks use as a horrible warning and the younger ones kinda admire for daring to be strange/rebellious/independent), this we recall. As a town or congregation we recall major events and often perpetuate stories about grand pioneers and the founders of our group. But if things get rough, what is kept, carefully preserved for the future? Continue reading