Seven Wonders: Architects and Mandala Stones

There was, of course, game playing at Jed‘s — he introduced me to Seven Wonders: Architects and Mandala Stones, both fun, fast games, and quick to teach. I like that they can both be played pretty casually in 20-30 minutes; it’s nice to have that kind of game around for people who aren’t hard-core board gamers, or for the start of game night, when you’re not sure how many people are going to show up for big games. Seven Wonders: Architects goes up to 7 players too, which is nice; it’s sort of a stripped down version of the full Seven Wonders game.

I was tempted to buy both for our home, but I really need to be careful about budget for the next few months. I’m trying hard to get Serendib House to a sound financial footing, which will likely mean loaning the business some money from our personal funds. It’s running in the red right now, with several part-time staff folks, and I need to get it into the black. This was planned, but still a little nerve-wracking. If the pandemic hadn’t hit and we could’ve launched Feast properly, I think we might’ve made it to the black already by now, but alas. So it goes.

Getting to profitability should be possible, with care, which will eventually let me expand the press to publish other peoples’ books as well, which I’d really love to do. Give me a few years. If I do it, I want to do it right, with advances and publicity spending, etc.

We’d really prefer not to raid the kids’ college fund, and we don’t have that much extra (we need to put a new roof on in the spring, sigh), but this really feels like the right time to invest in the business. I could apply for a small business loan, but that makes me anxious. I think I’m going to try to do ‘buy-nothing’ for January – March, or close to it, buying only essential supplies for the business, prioritizing paying peoples’ salaries.

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The main things that will help stabilize SH funding, I think, are:

• pre-orders for Vegan Serendib

• orders for any stock we have on hand already — I have a lot of fabric for masks and scarves, am thinking of making some other sewn items too — geeky / literary pencil cases? cute little bags? aprons?

• orders for any print books we have on hand already, especially Feast

• adding more Patreon folks to the cookbook club, to Serendib House magazine subscriptions; that’s a nice, steady income stream which helps with planning

• selling ebooks. Lots and lots of ebooks. I have quite a bit of backlist to release. We’re tentatively scheduled to release two of my first books in ebook form, _Torn Shapes of Desire_ and _Silence and the Word_, mostly erotica, along with some poetry and essays, right on time for Valentine’s Day. Mark your calendars…

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Well, you’ll hear lots more about all of that in the New Year. I didn’t really mean to get on that topic — I was talking about board games. I guess it’s on my mind.

The other problem with board games, of course, is that with Omicron rising (that really does sound like the title of a SF novel), I’m not sure when we’ll feel comfortable gathering folks at the house for gaming. I’m thinking maybe we can make a little gaming bubble, just to keep me sane over the winter? I’ll have to talk it over with Kevin…

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