June’s Jitterbug Sausage

(This post went to Patronizers at the beginning of June, and the public at the beginning of July.)

“The deck is clear, projects are ready to go, I’m ready to WRITE!”

One lovely Friday night in May, She Who Must Be Obeyed finished teaching for the summer. The following Sunday, at five AM, she broke her leg.

You look alarmed, so I’ll say now: she will fully recover.

The next couple weeks were a blur. The third week, where she could take care of herself enough that I could do some work, are also a blur–but mostly because I was doing tech edits on Run Your Own Mail Server. The Kickstarter was scheduled to start on 20 May, and I had invested a bunch of energy in shilling it, so I didn’t want to push it back, but my stupid conscience demanded I have the book in copyedit before launching the Kickstarter. Why would I launch a Kickstarter on a book I’m not ready to deliver? I also had to finish writing two four-hour courses, one on email and one on TLS, for BSDCan. So, I launched the Kickstarter and got ready for BSDCan.

You remember my last Sausage post? Where I said I thought that the direct market for RYOMS was exhausted? I hoped I might gross seven, maybe ten thousand?

I was wrong.

So very wrong.

This is insane

And the dang thing isn’t over! I’m going to be shipping over 500 books. I might need to buy help doing that, particularly for the drop-shipped copies. Despite that complaint, you’d be helping me out if you’d share the campaign.

Part of the reason I set the Kickstarter to run over BSDCan was that I was teaching about email, and wanted to mention that the Kickstarter existed. I thought it might sell a couple more books. Also, I thought that if I was busy being the BSDCan con chair, I couldn’t spend my days obsessively reloading the Kickstarter page to see if anyone bid. The con chair role mainly consisted of pointing at volunteers and saying “You. You are empowered to make this Thing happen. Go. Do.” Plus, I’d deal with any last-minute disasters.

You ever start a week-long con exhausted? Because I sure did. It was a loooong week. Fortunately, SWMBO was more able to care for herself, so I was able to go at all. (If I hadn’t been chair, I would have canceled.)

So, yeah. Very few new words this month, and those all on polishing RYOMS. I hope to change that this month.

The eight hour drive home from BSDCan gave me time to ponder the world and my place in it. One thing I’ve been contemplating is my Patronizer rewards. The video hangout tier was popular during the covid lockdown. We still have covid, but we’re not in lockdown. I often start the video hangout and nobody shows up.

I’m contemplating dropping the monthly video hangout, replacing it with a quarterly all-Patronizer hangout: two in my morning, and two in my evening. That would give everyone a chance to show up.

I would replace the Monthly Video Hangout tier with a private chat. I would check the chat at least 2-3 times a week. The question is, what platform? Signal would be preferable, but its anonymity means it doesn’t integrate well with Patreon or Woocommerce. I’m familiar with Slack. Matrix and Discord annoy me. The catch would be, I’d demand that such a chat be family-friendly. Perhaps Addams Family friendly, but family friendly. That means moderation. I don’t know if I want to do that labor.

So, pondering. Video hangout subscribers, I’m open to your thoughts.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for RYOMS to return from copyedit. While books like SNMP Mastery covered complex material, that material could easily be chunked. It’s the most complex and interrelated book I’ve ever written. It does not break into chunks. Everything depends on everything. That meant painstaking interleaving of information, in a weird order that looks clunky but is the only way to approach the material. There’s reasons nobody else wrote this book. I have several outstanding anthology invitations, so I’m gonna break up my mental logjam and write some short fiction for a little bit. My brain is tired after the last few months.

I’m looking at the RYOMS Kickstarter and thinking I should do that revision of Networking for System Administrators I’ve been pondering. The cover art will need mushrooms, however.

Before then, though, I’ll launch Dear Abyss. Which might make two grand, if I’m very lucky. A collection of previously published honest advice columns is of much less interest than running a mail server. Even if “honest” means “bitter and cynical.” We’re talking sysadmin stuff, after all.

Sorry for the dearth of news, but it’s been a crap month. Do let me know what you think about the chat thing, however.

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