While the usual foibles of this year continued across August 2023 (my car attracting idiots, things like the dryer blowing up etc) there were some highlights to the month, the main one being a new furry addition to the family!
WHAT I READ: Beasts in Velvet by Kim Newman. Awesome read, brilliant twists, highly recommended.
WHAT I LISTENED TO: The Bookkeepers Skull by Justin D Hill (Audiobook). There’s something about the Warhammer Horror Audiobooks that I really enjoy – especially when you get a voiceover that really nails things and Matthew Hunt on this does just that.
WHAT I WATCHED: Just about all the Dark Side of the Ring eps I could get my hands on and I finally finished Shadow and Bone Season 2. Plenty for a third season but once they get through this current writers strike (as a writer, I hope everyone involved there finds a positive and lucrative outcome.)
WHAT I’M PLAYING: Having died (a lot) in Battle Brothers, I finally tried Wartales and I’m loving it so far. I just wish my new recruits hung around in battle longer than the length of a cup of coffee.
August 2023 – Blog, meet Willow
On my big list of things to achieve and have happen across 2023, adopting a dog certainly wasn’t one of them. No the plan was to get a house first, then a dog. But since that might take a while in this current climate and the opportunity suddenly presented itself randomly one weekend…next thing you know is that we now have a dog.
Actually it was the idea of my on air co-host Lu because originally Willow was her gorgeous 9 year old Border Collie. But she felt Willow wasn’t getting nearly as much attention as she deserved at home anymore and since a) I love border collies and b) my kids want a dog, why not trial a little stay and see what happens? Well I’m happy to report that it took less than a week for her to get used to this place and now she absolutely adores us as much as we adore her.
And forget the 9 years bit, Willow seems to have the energy and excitement levels of a 9 month old puppy as she can’t wait to chase the ball out of the back for hours or pick up the kids from school as part of her big walk every day. And while she loves everyone in this family, she’s especially fond of my daughter Sophie and will follow her around constantly wondering what’s next, not to mention sitting next to her when she can and even sleeping on the kids beds on the odd occasion.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have figured a farm dog like her would just click so easily with us in such a short time but now she’s practically a part of the furniture around here (and she loves sleeping on the furniture!)
So there’s my stupidly positive start to this wrap of August 2023, onto the rest of it!
Things never happen when you wait..
In a brief ongoing nutshell: The car hasn’t sold yet, people aren’t showing up when they’re supposed to and worse than them, people don’t bother reading messages at times. Why bother telling me you want me to contact you about my car and you don’t bother reading the reply? I always wondered why people opted to trade cars in cheaply as opposed to selling it for a few grand more privately but now in August 2023 I’m learning exactly why: People. Nobody wants to deal with people. Once upon a time I would but after all this headache and no show and no apology? Yeah, I understand completely why the trade in thing is actually a thing.
Meanwhile the head gasket situation has gotten worse where if you drive for longer than 10 mins at a time, then the car wants to overheat. And so after walking a lot, I decided that I’d look into some finance options, buy my next car and then worry about the old one.
But oh god, the forms. The paperwork. I haven’t applied for finance for a car since uh.. 2013 maybe? I don’t remember it being half as complicated as it seems now. We need your pay sheets, your super balance, how much does your wife make and how much do you reckon you spend on meat each week? How much do you spend on medicines, going out and xmas presents? And that’s just for pre-approval and me working with a finance broker at the moment, I haven’t even reached the ‘Okay you can go and look at cars’ bit yet.
Still, it’s out there and the brokers working on it. While he does that I’ll continue to look at some possible options (I was thinking X-Trail’s but the internet seems to keep pointing out how bad the CVT transmissions are on them so I’m not sure anymore..) and try to avoid every Facebook ad for ‘Car finance secret hacks’ that have mysteriously started to appear. Seriously, they can’t be much of a secret if so many different advertising companies seem to know them..
August 2023 – the little things
There was a bit of bike work (still not fit) and plenty of weights out the back, especially with the new doggo watching on. And it’s been a while since I dead lifted just slightly more than what I weigh (current weight is 74kg so anything off the ground over that I count as a big win) but I’ve had a couple of sessions where the big 10kg plates get added.
The trouble with going on the heavier side on occasion is how draining the after effects. Early starts, walks to work (thanks car!), walks to school and back daily and the weights mean the energy flies out the window and on more than one occasion I’ve struggled to stay awake on the couch before dinner.
Still that means I’m getting strong yeah?
2023 goal – 94.5% done (4 months left to go!)
Hey my new release, let’s check the numbers! It’s gone… yeah not great. I’ve had a grand total of one person who gave it a go through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited and got halfway through before they got hit by a bus, probably that deeply engrossed in the book to not look up in time.
Actually I have no idea why they stopped. Or why no one else started? The series has been hyped on my newsletter, I put it on Tik Tok and the first in the series promoted through author swaps on StoryOrigin…but crickets at the moment. Sigh.
Is Cyberpunk really that hard of a sell nowadays? Was August 2023 just a bad month for book sales for everyone? Because I only had one sale across the month and this half read and if I was relying on my skills as an author to feed my family…well it’s fair to say starvation would have probably kicked in years ago. Okay then, onto the next one and hopefully this one will become a late classic. Or something.
Okay maybe there’s more to this August 2023 bad month for sales scenario than first thought because this months ad revenue was as exciting as a cheese sandwich. On three day old very stale bread.
2558 impressions across the board (including the small numbers from this site)
Total made: $2.55 made which isn’t going to even spring for a rubbish coffee anywhere around town.
Perhaps it’s those horrifically bad game ads where if you pull the wrong cord, the hero fries in lava. Maybe it’s the historically low payout for Indian dental implants or PDF makers that seem to crop up for as long as I’ve used Adsense (and who are using these services still?). On my latest wrestling look back post, it’s full of ads for said hero games, pants and hearing aids – surely they can’t think that’s an honest reflection of wrestling fans in this day and age??
Oh and I’ve just noticed over at my car blog Drive Another Day that the ads aren’t working on desktop all of a sudden. What the flip? Is this why it’s spluttered across the month like a second hand lemon? Gah! Why do things never work correctly from month to month?
(Now they’re working again…they just take a few visits. Still a pain. Time for a fine tunin!)
And finally, let’s end this monthly wrap on on a very positive note – even with lacklustre sales, not only are my savings the highest they’ve been all year but my debt on the flipside is at the lowest level in 2023. There’s still a bit of debt to go, I’m still working on making my savings really sing. And of course if I do get a car loan, that’ll change everything. But until then, what a great ending to August 2023! Bring on September!