Translate

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 New Year Resolutions

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year!

Last year, I made a bunch of goals.  Let's see if I kept them and where I want to go this year.  Also, please feel free to share your goals too.

Personal Goals
  1. Lose 20 pounds (I say this every year but I'll try to Wii Fit those pounds off this time!)
    • Nope, I gained weight.  Figures.  I'll try to do better this year!  Keeping this goal for 2017.
  2. Pass a few certifications so I can find a better job; maybe these:
    1. CCISP
    2. SAS Basic Programming 
    3. A+ Certificate
      • Nope and I won't be keeping this goal for 2017.  New plans.  I'll get to them in a future date.
  3. Find a better job ;)
    • Not yet but I am planning to switch jobs some time in the future.  Just not this year. 
Publishing Goals
  1. Make $100+ from book sales.  In 2015, I made about $37 in royalty, both from sales and pages read through Kindle Unlimited book lending.  Guess that doesn't mean I can quit my job any time soon but I'm not giving up just yet.  I thank you to those who have given my works a chance and hope that I can count on your support in the future.  I'm a noob at this publishing thing but I'll keep working to get better.
    • Aww yeah!  I made $137!  Still haven't broken even from purchasing those ISBNs from Bowker though.  Those cost me $260 and now I think I shouldn't have bought them!  
    • Thank you for your support!!  <3
    • New Goal: Make $200+ in royalty and finally turn a profit!
  2. Expand exposure of my books.  For #1 to happen, I need to find better ways to market.  Word of mouth really help too so please if you have the chance, spread the word about Lenne Penry!
    • I sent Malphas to Draft2Digital which expands through many channels.  No sales though so I can't say that this was a successful endeavor but I'll keep trying.  Keeping this goal!
  3. Publish three books from my new otome-style series: Poetess Xuan.  The first book hopefully to go out in January.
    • Goal Completed!  Crossing it off.
  4. Publish the second book to Malphas.
    • Goal not completed and I'm not sure when I'll resume this series.  Not making any plans right now for it.  Crossing it off.
  5. Publish a the alternate paths to Polaris.  Still can't decide if Han Bei/Jin or Bai Hu/Yue paths should go first.  If you have a fav, let me know.
    • Goal Completed!  Han Bei/Jin was published and I'm working on Bai Hu/Dui now!

2017 Goals

  1. Get thin!  Need to drop at least 15-20 lbs!
  2. Make $200 in royalty and turn a profit on my book publishing endeavor!
  3. Improve exposure of my books
  4. Publish the third book to Polaris
  5. Submit a book to Kindle Scout for a contract (won't likely get a contract competing with so much talent out there but I sure will try!)
  6. Spend less money and save more (will be difficult)
  7. Finish paying off my car
  8. Make more money online
  9. Start applying to another job
  10. Clean up my messy room/closet and keep it clean!
  11. Do a half marathon?
Check back next year to see if I've hit my goals!  And again, please feel free to share yours!

~ Lenne Penry

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas!  Happy Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!  Happy Festivus! Happy Holidays!
... and anything else you may celebrate this season!

~ Cheers!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Random Post: Bayonetta 2 Quick Review

Bayonetta 2 is an old game but I didn't have a Wii U back when it first came out, now I do but the game is pricey so I rented it with my free trial of Gamefly.  I have to say, I really like this game.

Yes, the story line is average, cheesy and often times, doesn't make any sense but that doesn't take away the charm of the game.  Yes, there are often innuendos, sometimes blatant perversion, that accompany the game.  And yes, if you tell people that Bayonetta uses her hair to fight which also happens to be her clothes so they come right off, and you're a woman, people will think you're a lesbian.  Happened to me at work.  This is why I shouldn't talk about video games to non-gamers, they just don't get it, am I right?  I think she's cool.  Bayonetta is an incredibly empowered woman.  She has guns attached to her stilettos for Pete's sake!  And, she punishes bad angels and demons
  😆

So, anyway, the game is fast-paced, lots of fights, one after the other.  Game play is very smooth, no lags, no glitches (as far as I know).  It also explains a lot about Balder (Bayonetta's father) and why he was the bad guy in the last game.  That is, this story takes place after the previous game and yet is the reason for the previous game; time logic and all that.  I really like the young Balder in this game, he's a hot mage/sage, who doesn't like that?  And then I read that his Japanese voice actor is Koyasu Takehito in the credits, ie, Hotohori's seiyu!  FYI, I love, love, love Hotohori!!  Aside from that, Balder is one of the best characters to fight in this game.

So, if you like fighting games where you have to dodge because blocking is a no-no, awesome weapons, using your hair/clothes to summon demon pets,  and ogle a hot sage, this game is for you.  It's one of those games I would definitely play again because there is hardly a dull moment.  Overall, I give Bayonetta2 a 4.5/5.

-LP

Thursday, December 8, 2016

EVP Mediums and Malphas

Hi all,

For those who likes ghost hunting shows, here's a good one I've been watching on YouTube: EVP Mediums (they also have a Facebook page).  They don't have a lot of viewers but I personally think they do a better job than the ones with funding on tv.  *cough, cough* Ghost Adventures!  Don't get me wrong, I like Ghost Adventures, but most of the time it's too dramatic for my taste.  I want to see the evidence captured, not watch theatrical displays by the camera-loving hosts.

EVP mediums use their own money to fund their projects, and they don't stalk out all night for ghosts to come by for a few EVPs.  These people get a lot of them from their many devices because they travel to active haunt sites and pass the spirits on.  Their evidence is compelling and they do ask spirits to show proofs they are there (ie, ask them to repeat a long word, ask them how many fingers they're holding up, ask them what a sign says, etc.).

You might wonder if they're getting so many EVPs, then wouldn't that mean they're faking it?  I don't think so.  If they are, then so are those guys on TV using pretty much the same or better devices.  And if they're all lying, it's still a good watch.  So this is my plug for EVP mediums.  Their episodes/campaigns are short, sweet and to the point.  The people are real; their reactions genuine and far from histrionic.

So then, to the second point of my post about Malphas.  What about him?  Well, I thought it was interesting since one of my previous books was titled "Malphas."  He is a famous demon (a prince of Hell) mentioned in several old texts, more notably, the Goetia.  Well, EVP Mediums went to check out one haunt site (a house) that the owner requested because she's afraid for her family.  During their walk-through, it seems the house has a portal and somehow Malphas was conjured there and he lives in the area of the house the spirits dubbed 'the Cave.'  The house was very active with human spirits who kept asking for help but the owner refused to let EVP Mediums do a passing because the kinder spirits are trying to protect her family... which is a strange idea since she must know spirits are trapped there when they pass... possibly including her if she stays, and that's a selfish thought to keep them grounded in misery.  Just my opinion.  However, the team couldn't do anything without the owner's permission, else that's trespassing.

In that campaign, Malphas's voice could be heard through the recorders and the stranger part is, the EVP team has now made an enemy out of him, especially Dave, the host.  Malphas has been following them throughout their new campaigns, taunting them, threatening them, trying to keep them from passing spirits over.  Dave is as calm as can be but grows increasingly disturbed whenever he hears that voice, which has a distinct tone all its own, and seems to target him.  This is indeed terrible for the team but at the same time, it is something that has never been captured on any other shows.

EVP Mediums continue to delve into the world of the paranormal, despite the threats, because they don't want to be intimidated.  Since they're regular folks with day jobs who do this in their free time with money from their own pockets, please like/subscribe to their YouTube channels if you happen to check them out.

As for Malphas, some theorists have wondered if Malphas is one entity, one entity that can be in multiple places at once (Quantum physics?) or a class of entities whose members all call themselves Malphas (the way humans classify themselves as Caucasian, Hispanic, African, Asian, etc.).  What they do know, is that Malphas is dangerous.  The way Dave suppresses his rage, fear and agitation whenever Malphas comes through the Spiritus, seems to point to the fact that there must be more happening off screen they won't say.  Scary stuff either way!

Anyway, this post if getting too long so I'll cut it off here.  Once again, if you're interested in paranormal investigations, this one is a must see.  Check out EVP Mediums on YouTube!

~Cheers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Too Cheap to Pass! Great Deals for the Holidays!

Hi everyone!  Hope you're doing well!

The holiday season can be a little stressful, especially when the purse strings are forced to stretch farther than my sweat pants!  Wouldn't it be nice to find cheap gifts and maybe even make a little bit of money in the process?

In the past, I've done another post about making money from home.  One of the websites I mentioned was Swagbucks.  I've spent most of today's evening accruing points  by doing a few of these offers which will make my Christmas shopping a little easier (ie free stuff and extremely good deals!).  Here's a few I'd like to share with you, if you're interested.

**Disclaimer: I'm not endorsing anyone or any company, nor am I compelling anyone to act.  This is solely a recap of my experiences.  Results are based on personal experiences.  Offers are subject to change.

Now that we got that out of the way; let's start!  You do need a (free) Swagbucks account and go through their website for the rebates.
www.swagbucks.com/
or preferably use my reference url: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/MrIceBear 

**Updates below in orange
**Results of experiences in red!

  1. Winc (formerly Club W) is a wine subscription services.  If you're not at least 21, please don't bother!  
    • Deal: Sign up for the monthly subscription service (which can be cancelled by calling the company--a pain, I know, but bearable) and earn 3200 Swagbucks ($32).  Stay subscribed for a second delivery and earn another $20.
    • My experience:  So after clicking on the link, I was taken to Winc survey, which asks a series of questions to guess my palate and make recommendations.  I chose to let them pick 2 white and 2 red wines for me ($13 each standard for the offer).  The checkout screen said $36.xx which I was okay with for four bottles of wine... they only charged me $32.  And, I immediately received $32 back in Swagbucks.  I will trade it for a paypal gift card, ie, get my money back!  Now... I have to wait until I get my wine and cancel the subscription unless I realllllly like their wine.  Probably won't, because I don't drink a lot, but I know people who do so... free Christmas presents???  I just better not forget to cancel the subscription.  Putting that on my calendar.
    • Results: Wine came as described.  Packed very well.  I called and canceled about a week after it arrived, no hassle.  
  2. Graze Boxes.  You've probably seen the commercials. It's a snack box subscription.
    • Deal: Sign up for the monthly subscription of Graze (I know, I know, subscriptions are a pain) and earn $5.00.  Just pay $1 shipping for a FREE box with four FREE snacks!
    • My experience:  So after I did the offer, I went to my account and cancelled the service.  Easy peasy.  And, Swagbucks gave me 500 point so... $4.00 FREE after the $1 shipping. I may sound like a degenerate for cancelling these things without giving them a chance but honestly, if I really liked something that much, I wouldn't mind returning to it and paying the full price.  I just don't happen to feel inspired that often to shell out more cash.
    • Results: I made the mistake of cancelling the future subscriptions before my free box shipped/arrived so Graze gave back my $1 but I also didn't get the box.  I wanted it.  Darn!  Make sure to keep this in mind if you want the box.
  3. Home Chef Subscription.  Delivered Meals.
    • Deal: Limit one per household.  Place your first order and get $20 back.
    • My experience:  First and foremost go to the left toolbar on the Swagbucks home page and click on Shop. Then select Food&Drink and then find Home Chef.  This will give an additional 20% back in Swagbucks!  Select 2 Meals for 2 people so with the select offer of $30 off, checkout should total $19.80 ($10 of which is for shipping).  Now, Swagbucks will rebate $20 so that's two free meals. Plus, 20% cashback on the purchase (I haven't received this part but I heard others have). 
    • After purchasing, immediately go under Account and select the preferred meals in case the meals they selected aren't to your liking. AND, add an extra smoothie or fruit choice for $4.95 more.  Now that the subtotal of purchase is over $45, shipping is free.  What I mean is... free smoothie or fruit!  No additional charges.  It was in my case anyway and I took advice from other awesome Swaggernauts who had the same results.  
    • If you just want to try Home Chef and not go through Swagbucks for some reason, please use my referral link for $30 off: https://www.homechef.com/invite/6NQpkuYwjlQ9 
    • Results: Delivery was supposed to come today (12/09) and didn't.  I'm guessing it'll be tomorrow.  However, on 12/09 I was charged for the next shipment before I even received the first shipment.  So, I called in and had them cancel the charge and my account.  I didn't notice there was an option to delay delivery to every 4 weeks instead of 2, just FYI, which will give you more time to cancel.
  4. Schwan's Grocery Deliver (Under the Discover section)
    • Deal: Grocery Delivery Service.  Spend at least $70, get 50% off at checkout and $20 back.  This one isn't money making but for $70 worth of stuff for $15 is pretty great!
    • My experience:  I took the referral, bought some nice seafood I wouldn't otherwise.  They're like Costco prices, so I hope they're Costco quality.  I just ordered so I can't speak to quality.  I spent $70.96 total, with 50% off and add in taxes, total comes to $35.80.  Swagbucks gave me back $20.  And best of all, delivery is free.  This is not a subscription services as far as I know.
    • Another Swaggernaut mentioned this which I also tried and succeeded: At checkout, Schwan's will ask if you'd like to donate 20% of your purchase to a charity.  If you want to, google Schwans-cares.  The website provide a list of campaigns and fundraisers.  Find one you like and enter in the code.  Can only be one or the other.  I tried to enter one of each and it didn't work.  So, good food and donate money to charity, all for $15 total is not bad in my book!
    • Results: Delivery came today.  The driver made an odd comment that he'll see me again in two weeks.  I thought I must have misread the fine print, that this is a subscription service and plus he caught me off guard so I said... 'okay?'  Went on the website, doesn't say auto ship and then I researched online and found that many folks who have been Schwan's customers are not happy with their delivery tactics.  Even if you won't buy anything, they'll come by and hand a flier anyway every two weeks and ask you to purchase more of their stuff.  Some people have told the drivers to stop coming by and they still do it.  I don't care for coercion and if I had known, I would have reconsidered this offer.  Please, proceed with caution!
  5. Shell Fuel Rewards Program
    • Deal: Sign up and earn 300 swagbucks ($3.00)
    • My experience:  Once I verified my email, I received 300 swagbucks.  No commitment to use the card if you don't want to (as far as I know) since it's a rewards program.  I did not link any credit cards; it is not required.  Up to you but I'm paranoid so I didn't.
  6. Kiwi Crate (Kid's Activity Subscription Services)
    • Deal: Use promo Swag30 to get 30% off and also receive a rebate from Swagbucks for $18.
    • My experience:  I received the credit about 10-15 minutes after purchase.  Overall, I spent $13.95 and received an $18 dollar credit.  Good deal!  One disclaimer though is that Swagbucks mentioned if you don't really intend to enjoy the product, ie, cancel the subscription after receiving the credit, they (Swagbucks) have the right to revoke your account.  I am waiting until after my nephew receive his box before I cancel.  Unless he really loves it then being the sucker that I am, I might let the subscription run a while longer.
    • Results: Crate came but I haven't opened it.  Will leave that up to my nephew.  I canceled online just fine.
  7. Loot Crate (Nerdy items for nerds!  ie, me!)
    • Deal: Subscribe and earn $10 back... actually, mine said $13 is pending.  Won't receive credit until end of December.
    • My experience:  I did not use swag's promo code for $3 off,  I found a better one on retailmenot: GEEKMASSP.  This took off $4.95.  Total was about $14.95 and if Swag rebates $13 back end of December, not bad at all.  This is not free but a good chance to try out a subscription service that's pretty awesome. 
    • Disclaimer--Loot crate does have discrepancies on cancellation so be sure to read them.  I haven't purchased one for years so I don't know if they've changed.
    • Results: Lootcrate lets you cancel online now so that's good.  Customer support is really lacking.  It's one of those put in a ticket and we'll get back to you whenever we get to it, so if you need help with something, better have patience.
  8. Sign up for Gamefly 
    • Deal: Try out Gamefly subscription for two months for $10+tax and get back $20 in SBs.
    • My experience:  Offer credited immediately and I'm waiting on my first game now.  Just remember to cancel before the next billing cycle unless you want to keep it.
That's all I have for now.  I'll add if I see more.  Happy Money Making!
-LP