The bad news and the good news.

I forgot Valentine’s Day. Fortunately the Dume constitution allows for rapid healing and these are only flesh-wounds.

There was no disguising my error because I had nothing suitable in reserve to use as an emergency present. There wasn’t a heart in the house and the butcher was closed. I did learn something though. If you offer a woman a brain as a gift, she doesn’t take it as a compliment. I won’t do that again.

This last month I have been hiding from a visit by Big Fist McVicious who has been employed as the local tax collector. I am not sure that stabbing people as an opening gambit is in the taxman’s handbook, but it does seem to be effective. So far he has not had to ask a single person in the village for their tax and from what I hear, they’ve paid him next year’s tax too.

I simply cannot be the first Dume to pay tax. My ancestors would be enraged enough to return and Father would get Beryl to move in permanently. Having a banshee around the place would not improve my writing output at all.

In the end there was only one thing to do. I let Caligula answer the door. He’s faster with a knife than Big Fist will ever be. I doubt he’ll be back but I’ll make sure Caligula keeps up his throwing-knife practice just in case.

There was one bit of good news. I found some reviews on the short stories I’d been giving away for free. On the advice of the good Sergeant, I didn’t leave them free forever. Once they reach a thousand downloads I put a price on them – 99 cents – because giving away too many freebies means nobody ever buys the actual books.

There were some odd ones on Barnes and Noble where the reviewer had written complimentary text but given a three star rating, which I think translates as ‘meh’. I intend to ignore them and instead bask in the glory of this one.

Well, better get back to the writing, as soon as I can stop bleeding on the keyboard.

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