Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010

This post should actually be titled "Why not getting the list done is actually a good thing." It took me a few minutes to stop being disappointed, and maybe I pouted a little over the fact that this is the first week where I won't be getting new flowers because I just didn't get what I said I would done. The roadblocks to finishing the list aren't huge, and all but one aren't entirely in my hands - plus the ball is rolling on everything, I'm just not to the end of it all yet. Business cards are ordered, but won't be in until next week. I'm caught in a phone tag cycle with the very nice woman who I need to talk to about Fiddlebug. Ah, and the trunk... that's completely on me. In my defense, the weather was less than co-operative early in the week, and I am taking my time on it so it doesn't look as sloppy as I do when I'm done painting . Plus I've decided I'd really like some cedar lining for it. I do think I misjudged the time it would take though, which bugs me. Ah well, in the long run it'll be better for it.

I did, however, get my laptop carrier painted, AND I LOVE IT!!! Nice, cheerful, simple design. One of a kind too, which is (I think) the best part of doing stuff yourself. Almost makes me want to just lug the laptop everywhere with me so I can show off the bag !

Okay, so now on to why NOT getting my list done this week is sort of good. First, I can use the money that was going to pay for flowers to help with the cost of a larger number of business cards. Second (and my least favorite) I really need to do some weeding anyway - hey, maybe I can look at that as punishment for not getting the list done - and some of the plants I already have need split and/or relocated. Not getting new flowers is a great reason to spend the weekend dealing with what I've already got out there. Plus it reminds me that next week, I'd better get it in gear!

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010

I've decided to switch up my goals just a little bit this week. Normally I focus on the literary stuff, but right now I've got a couple of projects that I'm either in the middle of or that have been put off for longer than I like. I've got one person to talk to about carrying Fiddlebug, and updates at various spots are underway (as you can see), plus I'm getting new business cards printed. Other than that I'd like to take a little breather from the book stuff and take care of a couple of Back Burner Projects.

First on my list is my laptop bag. (This is actually already underway.) In the spirit of being at least a little eco-friendly, I use an almost 17 year old Toshiba camcorder - you know, one of those big ones that took VHS tapes? - carrier for my laptop. Works out pretty great actually. Heck, my laptop is even a Toshiba so I look like I put effort into matching ! The only problem with the bag is that it's pretty hideous. Picture sun bleached, used to be gray canvas that has had more than it's share of oreo covered little hands on it; has been used as a cat bed; spent 5 years in a cabinet in the kitchen without seeing the light of day... Yeah, you're getting the picture now aren't you? Even Scott mentioned that it's pretty rough and I should get a new one. I like it though, it's just the right size for everything I lug around in it. Then it hit me - I'm an artist! DUH!!! So I decided to paint it. I gesso'd it - sort of like primer - just like canvas, and now I'm using old Artex (anyone remember this from the 70's?) paints thinned with paint thinner so I can work them with a brush instead of that roller ball thing they used to have going for them. (How I end up with the stuff I end up with is anyone's guess!) So far I'm LOVING the results. I'm hoping to finish it today if the weather stays good enough to get back in my tree house for a couple of hours. (Those paints really stink!)

Second on my list is to paint an old trunk that I had given to me. It's really solid, and the inner tray is even there and in good shape, but the outside has definitely seen better days. I'm not sure of what I'm going to use it for yet, but the extra storage space will come in handy here. Log houses just don't come with a lot of that as a general rule.

And that's my list for the week. I'd better get a move on with it too! See you Friday with the results!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24, 2010

I'm a day later than usual in posting, but considering I cleaned all of the empty boxes that were "forgotten" in the pantry and the kids were wandering the kitchen with looks of horror yesterday morning I thought I'd better head to the grocery story. Seeing as our choice to live in the middle of nowhere puts my favorite grocery story about 45 minutes away, I tend to run any other errands I have then too, so the whole event takes pretty much all day. Mostly I treat it as a mini-vacation .

Yesterday was sort of roller coaster-ish on the literary front. I got a rejection from the agent I had queried with Bart and the Amber Bee Award back in March. Not a bad turn around time-wise since they asked for at least 12 weeks. I'm considering just focusing on the self-publishing option. It's not that I mind the rejections, I would much rather be picked up by an agent that believes in my writing than one who is just so-so about it. It's also not that I don't want to find a traditional publisher, I think that would be a pretty big win for me. There are just so many flaming hoops to jump through in the process that finding the time to hunt potential agents down and query them is difficult. I think that time could be better spent on other things. The "Yippeee!!" part of the roller coaster yesterday was that a friend of mine who works for an Art Center sent me a message on facebook. I had sent a copy of Fiddlebug up for the Art Center's fund raising auction. Lynda, the woman who started the Art Center wants to support my book by keeping copies for sale up there! MUCH bigger area than here, and the Art Center does a lot of work with kids, so it should be a great place to send some copies! I'm hoping to talk with her this coming week to find out details, but I've very excited. Plus, when I checked my records and double checked my copies on hand I found out that I only have 7 left here that aren't on hold. My brother is still holding 4 in Alabama, but only having 11 unclaimed out of 210 isn't too shabby as far as I'm concerned! (Especially for being unknown and living in a really rural area.)

As for my To Do List last week, I got through it on a technicality. I decided that the advertising credits I received for hosting my website through Fat Cow will be better used right before Clyde comes out in July. (I did read about them though). Now it's just about fishing for followers here and at my website... and twitter... facebook... myspace (sigh, you get the picture ) and updating things regularly. Hopefully this means I can get back to the fun part of writing! For now, I'm off to plant some new plants where the cat is laying in the picture and see what's sprouted in the flower bed I want to focus on next. See you Monday!

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

Where did the weekend go? I mean, really, it can't be done already! Yet here I am, and the calendar says it's Monday again... I'm starting to think a friend of mine is right and that there is a time warp in effect at our house! Ah well, I guess there's not use in complaining. Time to move to Monday's Theme Music (incidentally Flight of the Bumblebee and Manic Monday seem to work out pretty well when combined in my head.) and get some stuff done.

With the website up and running like it should be ( ), I now just need to make sure to use the advertising credits they gave me and also remember to update and tie in all my other social networking sites... and start the Twitter thing. I would like to pause for a moment though to say that it sure is feeling like all of my computer time is going to updating and networking lately. I'm really hoping that at some point in the very near future I'll be able to get back to the writing part! I miss it! I know that building a platform is important too, but it sure does feel like the forest is being blocked from view by this one really big tree... Okay, that was as close to a complaint as I plan to post on that topic - at least for today .

So this week I'm on my way to getting the whole social networking and advertising thing under control. This includes updating my business cards, and other printed materials - although I'm going to spread out actual printing over the next few paydays since I'd like to get them professionally done again. The last ones I had printed were wonderful, and there is a lot to be said for quality.

Here's hoping next week will let me get back to the part that I love... writing. Until then, I'm on my way to the rest (which will get me some plants for a different flower bed - before picture posted here). I'll let you know when I get there!

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's been a fun Friday for me. I got to go read to some really great munchkins at a daycare center in Fairlea (I'm hoping to get a picture or two of the event to post) and then get looked at all kinds of funny while shopping for flowers still dressed up like a fairy except for the wings (just too hard to navigate stores in them sadly). You may wonder why I don't bring a change of clothes - well it's mainly because normal clothes combined with that much glitter eyeshadow looks even more tacky than the outfit minus the wings. Besides, it entertains people, even when they do think they are only laughing AT me instead of WITH me.

The big news is the website though! I not only met my goal there but since things went a LOT easier than I thought they would I surpassed it and the site is up and running. I'm rather happy with how it turned out, plus there is room for it to grow as time and need goes on.

So today I brought home some calla lilies I couldn't pass up, some gerbera daisies which I think are some of the happiest looking flowers under the sun and some more of those poor under appreciated white pansies. I'm trying to hold off on watering since I hear there is supposed to be a LOT of rain tonight or tomorrow morning, so please don't think I'm making the poor plants out there die of thirst when you see the picture! Have an absolutely wonderful weekend - I know I'll be enjoying a little bit of downtime! - and I'll be back on Monday with some new something to be on my way to.

p.s. I keep forgetting to post an invitation here: If you would like to post something that you are on your way to in the comments section please feel free to join in. I know I've found that I stick to my goals better since I started this blog - it might help you too! It doesn't have to be literary, it can be anything from washing the dishes to building that time machine you are always talking about. Sometimes it's just nice to have company on the journey! Just don't forget to let us know when you get there!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

Heavenly Habit Jacob's Ladder and 6 white pansies came home with me last weekend. They are now snuggled into the ground around my little pond stretching their roots and reaching toward the sun. I also spent 3/4 of the day yesterday planting some purple iris that were waiting out the winter in a bag under my porch, transplanting two small sage bushes that wanted more light than they were getting where they were, moving the primroses so they line the outside of the walkway and open up the area around my little "babbling brook" and laying this really pretty wild ground cover in front of the pond. Notice I didn't use the word "weed". (I admit I like dandelions too, they shout their happy yellow at a world that doesn't really appreciate them. Don't forget the wishes you can make once they go to seed either.) I'll post a pic of the changes to the pond after I get to buy something nice and bright for the containers at the end of this week.

Now it's back to Monday and the setting of new goals. I was looking at my calender earlier and realized that Friday has me in fairy wings for the kids over at Mountain Heart in celebration of The Week of the Young Child. I need to brush up on my read aloud skills and make sure I have coloring pages printed out! This is also the week I'm going to start building my website. Since I'm two steps away from being computer illiterate and I'm hoping to have a place worth visiting, I'm not going to set finishing it as my goal (although I'd really like to). Getting it halfway done will let me spend this $15.00 that's staring at me - I'll even get to shop in costume! I wonder if I should consider that promotion or whether everyone else will just think I'm nuts...

So, that's what I'm on my way to this week. Wings don't fail me now!

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9, 2010

Guess who met her goals this week AND tossed in moving her blog on top of it... yep, that would be me! Just in time for a certain home improvement store to be having a 3 for $10 sale which seems like it would be a great way to spend my $15.00 for not being a slacker *big smile*. I will take one more read through on Clyde before it's time for her to be "born" but that is just the last minute paranoia check. I was really happy to find that I still like the story just as much if not more than I did when I first wrote it, and the minor tweaking I had to do only improved things. I found who I'm going through to get my website hosted, and it looks like I shouldn't feel completely technologically illiterate while getting it set up. It's sort of embarrassing how much I am on this computer everyday and how little I know about using it! *laughing* I have a rough idea of what I want things to look like, and what all I want to make available on the site too. It has been a good week! Tomorrow is the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival - which should make up for having to get up at 5:00 a.m. to have Mason (my oldest) and a friend of mine's daughter to the college in time to take their ACT. Plus all of tomorrow's activities will be right up the road from that 3 for $10 sale... Oh yes, I am happy!
Be back Monday with clean hands and something new to be on my way to! Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 5, 2010

Wow, and we are back to Monday... How did that happen so fast? I think there is a hole in my Time Bucket! Spring has a way of doing that though, and I can't say I'm unhappy - juggling the To Do's is a lot better when it's warm and sunny out. The problem is making myself stay in when there are flower beds that are begging for attention and spring breezes blowing my thoughts in new directions every few minutes. Rainy days don't help either. There is just something about spring rain that makes me want to curl up with a book and read instead of writing my own words. Spring also seems to be the time when school becomes the most time consuming. We have annual testing and the horror of looking at schedules and realizing that those one or two assignments that we would finish "later" have caused a log jam and time is running out if we would like to enjoy a summer without the schoolwork. The tentative grasp on my time management skills I've had since starting this blog feels very iffy right now. It's a really good thing bribery works for me and I get a guilty conscience even if I'm just lying to myself because I've got a plan! I'm not going to allow myself to buy any new flowers for the flower beds until I meet my writing goals each week. I am going to cheat just a little and keep those goals fairly small, but hey, when you've got a hole in your Time Bucket, you really have to be careful not to over schedule! I'm also setting a monetary limit just in case you're wondering. Since the money comes out of my "allowance" it'll be a whole lot like being self employed and getting paid to write! Each goal I meet will earn me $15.00 in new plants for the flower beds. Since I've got really big flower beds, that should keep me on track for a while - plus it will serve the added purpose of letting me really think about what flowers I want next.
So this week, I'm going to be on my way to the (hopefully) last editing of Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny. I will also be deciding who to go through to host my website (coming soon) and getting a rough idea of how I want it laid out. A friend is going to be giving me a hand with the site and I want to keep this as painless of a process as possible so she doesn't have to pull her hair out and I can actually learn something! Wish me luck on getting there - I'd really like to bring home some green, growing additions to the Fairy Bed by the end of the week! (I'll be adding pictures of progress, and I do believe I'll start right here.)

March 31, 2010

Late posting this week, but I honestly haven't had time to get here until now. I'm just on my way to keeping up with the non-literary parts of my world as March leaves us and April begins. I'll be back again next Monday with more goals to reach for! See you then!

March 27, 2010

My week of pondering and deck burning went pretty productively! I'm happy with the results, even though my options changed a little bit before all was said and done. I even have a timeline on my wall to remind me to stay on track - which makes the plan feel more "in stone" than just keeping my spreadsheet budget on the computer so I can see if I'm making progress of not. I've decided to continue playing both sides of the publishing fence, at least for the time being. While I would love to find an agent/editor/publisher and plan to continue that search, I believe the old saying that "a bird in hand is better than two in the bush".
Here's what I've decided: I swapped out conference options and chose to attend the WV Writer's, Inc. 2010 Summer Conference this year instead of the one that my friend is going to. I prefer the idea of starting with my own state and networking with other authors here. One of my dream publishers will have a representative there and they are offering the opportunity to submit an unagented manuscript to conference attendees. The setting and schedule are very much to my liking, and it will cost me considerably less to go - all in all it feels like the right decision. I sent my registration paperwork yesterday and I'm really looking forward to going in June.
On the self-publishing front, I'm going to start putting money back and if no great book deal comes before July 30th, I'll get Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny into her own book on my own. Clyde deserves to have her day and my readers deserve the opportunity to meet her. I think there will be many smiles and much giggling when it happens.
The best part of this plan is that I will still be able to pay off Fiddlebug by the end of the year, which is a very important goal to me. (Side note to Fiddlebug - I've only got 13 copies left, so pay-off is even more important because I need to start putting away money for another order and keep it off the credit card.)
This week we are going go be doing some more major clean-up on a piece of land we own down the hill from our house. Manual labor and movement are always good ways to shake things loose in my head, so it should be interesting to see what I come up with to be on my way to next week. For now, I feel like I'm in the right place and moving toward good things. It's a great feeling!

March 22, 2010

It's a beautifully sunny Monday here in the middle of nowhere. I'm sitting in a bright patch on my front porch supervising a small fire that is eating the boards of the deck we tore down over the weekend and thinking about changing my budget in order to fit in a writer's conference in June. I can't wait for the weather to be officially good enough to move back into the tree house that I use as my studio three seasons our of the year. Even numbers aren't so much of a headache when I'm outside! I'd love to say that I'm on my way to getting some actual writing done this week, but I'm afraid I'd be lying. I've got things already written that are whining about wanting to see the light of day. Between them and feeling like I should be putting more effort into selling Fiddlebug, my focus has been on publishing and marketing a lot. Dragonpox, closet monsters and any number of other things seem to be taking a back seat. I know that a writer is supposed to write every day, but the reality is that there are only so many hours in a day an sometimes a writer has to focus on how to make their writing work better for them financially. My goal is to work with what I have in order to have the best writing career that I can. Sounds easy enough, right? The problem is that I can see two separate and very different paths to work with. I can go the semi-familiar trail and self-publish again, or I can try the traditional publishing route. I have been trying to play both sides of the fence for a couple of months now, but I'm getting the feeling that I'm going to have to choose one and stick with it because there really is only so much time and energy to use. The funny thing is that it would appear I'm at the crossroads right now. I can either continue with my plan to pay off the remainder of the publishing debt from Fiddlebug and then have enough to put back to self-publish Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny for Christmas, or I bump out my pay-off on Fiddlebug until Christmas and have enough money to attend a writer's conference in June with a friend of mine. It's actually a harder decision than I thought it would be. My biggest problem is that I keep hearing that having a publisher requires the same amount of sales work for an author as doing it yourself, and the main thing I really want help with is sales. The potential market is very limited when you live in a small town and traveling for requires a larger investment than you usually get in return. the other big perk I want to believe in concerning traditional publishing is having someone in the business adding their input to make my story the best it can be. On the flip side of that, I don't want someone directing my writing into something completely different than what it originally was. Self-publishing gives me the option of digging advice out of my friends and family instead of having the advice of strangers flying at me. then there is the time factor. If I self-publish, I'll have my book out and about for the Christmas season. Traditional publishing could offer that same book (in whatever incarnation it would be shaped into) a year from now or never.
So that is where I am on this lovely Monday afternoon. I'm on my way to figuring out the answer by the time Friday rolls around. It's a good thing there's plenty of decking to feed to the fire in the mean time.

March 19, 2010

It's a busy Friday, but I did manage to organize both my office and my head a bit during the week, so at least today doesn't feel as hectic as it could. Plus I will have a couple of things off of my To Do List by the end of the day. Progress is good.
Speaking of progress, I made a bit more this week than I thought I would. I got the query letters I've been putting off finished and even sent two of them out. One produced a rejection, but it was a quick turn around which I appreciate. However, maybe I'm rare or strange as a writer, but seeing as I don't "connect" with a lot of stuff on the best seller lists, I don't' expect everyone to "connect" with my writing. Agents and authors have a rather intimate relationship I think. I'd like to have one where that "connection" is there. If it's not, that's enough reason to pass on by. The added mention of a rough market really didn't do much for me. I see how rough the market is, how unstable the economy is, and how bleakness has settled over the financial world - this is actually a lot of the reason I write how I do. Kids need something positive to look at, even if it is only in a book. they need reason to giggle. They need reason to dream about better things. they need someone to tell them that just because they are young doesn't mean they cannot or should not change things for the better - even if it's only in a small way. Mentioning a rough market as a reason to reject my query just felt a little like overkill or an expected justification to me. This opinion is general, by the way, not directed at that particular agent. You have to be a nice person to be able to leave someone smiling when you turn them down, which is exactly what she did.
Okay, I'm off of my soapbox. the sun is shining and I hear a bird earlier! I'll be back on Monday to see what I'm on my way to. Have a wonderful weekend!

March 15, 2010

Monday. Yucky, dreary, chilly weather. Low turn out at the craft show over the weekend. Bubbles of "bad mood" floating around the house and sporadically landing on family members (myself included). Seeing how unorganized I've become over the past month. Realizing how far away my goals are. These are a few of my least favorite motivation killers and they all decided to greet me when I got up this morning. Needless to say I am frantically trying to adjust my attitude, especially since I was going on so much in my last post about being social and feeling more balanced. The timing on today's mood could not have been scheduled better to remind me that our resolve needs to be tested from time to time to see how strong it actually is. So it is time to shake off the crud, find a new perspective and breathe. After that I'm going to use today to get organized so I can see over the mental mess, which should get rid of the directionally challenged feeling and let me get moving again. That's all I'm going to expect out of myself this week too. It's a pretty big step forward, and I'll feel a LOT better when I get there. Anything else that comes about because of it will be icing, which is always a happy-maker, but which in this case isn't all that important to the plan for the week. So that's what I'm on my way to this week. Wish me luck.

March 8, 2010

I met a couple of friends today for lunch. I twas so nice! I got the added bonus of stealing my husband away from his dungeon - um I meant office - for a couple of hours too (even though this will mean extra time put into work this evening for him). It was almost like - dare I say it? - a DATE! I think it was much needed too. I spend a lot of time right here on my computer, usually in my pj's and fluffy red bathrobe. Normally my hair is bundled into a ponytail or twisted up into a clip to keep it out of my face and the idea of make-up is as laughable as the idea of 50 of the top publishers showing up at my front door tomorrow trying to outbid each other for my latest manuscript. (If you're going to dream, dream big!) Since I usually write stories for middle grade or younger, I try to stay in the light and sweet side of my personality. Needless to say, balance is sometimes and issue and my grouchy side occasionally tries to take over. This month has seen a bit more social activity than usual, and it's really helping me keep the crankiness that sometimes sneaks in around the edges at bay. Balance is important to me. Plus, I think Scott appreciated seeing me put more effort into how I look than usual (grin). And yes, days like this also help add some energy into my writing and get the characters moving inside my head again if they have decided to be difficult. Makes getting on my way to something a while lot more enjoyable! So, this week's plan is mostly to be ready for the weekend's Craft Show where I will be signing books and hopefully getting some story time appointments set up. I thought about dusting off the fairy wings, but it's hard to navigate the crowd when I do, so I'm still debating. I really need to get through at least the chapter I'm working on with Fiddlebug Gets Dragonpox - its' been dragging along for long enough and the next chapter is starting to get impatient. So there's what I'm on my way to. I'll be a little late updating this weekend, but I'm hoping the craft show will keep me too busy to write. I'll let you know how it goes!

March 6, 2010

Fiddlebug and my week both had other plans for me than finishing my rough draft. It's funny how characters just refuse to "talk" sometimes. I did get some more added to my closet monster story so it wasn't a complete loss. I'm writing that one for my niece, who shares her name (and possibly a part of her personality) with my main character. Hopefully it will be just right in time for Christmas so she can have a one of a kind present!
One thing that sort of crept up on me again (because it does from time to time) this week was that I really like writing. Maybe it was the dentist appointment and the grocery store and getting school schedules more under control - all of which took time away from the stories in my head - that reminded me of how much I really do enjoy watching the characters and plot walk their way along my keyboard and onto the virtual paper of my screen. Maybe it was just realizing that Fiddlebug wanted a longer rest and my closet monster had some things to say. Maybe it was the kid that asked me I was REALLY the one who wrote Fiddlebug because he liked it. Or maybe it was a bit of each and a dash of everything else thrown in. Whatever it is, I remembered in full force how much I really like this outlet. I have no need to be the next big name on the latest must read book list. I'm happy just creating my worlds and sharing them with whoever might like to spend some time in them. Breaking even is sort of an economic necessity these days, and getting enough profit to buy myself a fancy coffee in celebration would be GREAT (although I of course wouldn't turn down the opportunity to claim an actual income from doing something that I love), but wherever I'm ultimately on my way to with pen and ink and the occasional use of watercolors, I hope I always remember to enjoy the path.

March 1, 2010

New month, and new Monday. Fiddlebug got quite a bit of attention today. I went to pick up a couple of copies that I have on consignment and was asked to leave 4 more instead - made me smile! I also had a request for three copies from someone else. This brought me to a really great realization - I could possibly sell out of "on hand" books at the craft show on March 12, 13 and 14! How GREAT would that be?! Plus, I finally got a copy sent to Tamarack for their book jury. I'm feeling like I made some headway on my sales plan (which I really need to focus on a bit more often). I've also reinforced my resolve to put paying off the rest of the debt left over from getting Fiddlebug into print and bulk book orders at the top of the list of things to do. All of this has helped lead me to the beginning of a new plan... so here it is: From now until lat summer I'm going to be on my way to payoff. I am also putting money away for at least one writer's conference this year, and another bulk order of books in case I need books to sell. Since that will about kill my "allowance", I figure it's a pretty good time to look for an agent or a publisher. After payoff I'm going to start putting more money away so that if I can't find an agent or a publisher, I can self-publish again. I still have to work on my platform, but I have a small one in place so it should just be a matter of building, right? My goal is to have another book out for the Christmas season one way or another. I'd like it to be Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny - I think.
That's the grand plan. On a more immediate note, this week I'm on my way to finishing the rough draft for Fiddlebug Gets Dragonpox. I'm going to give myself a little buffer on the time though since there is also a closet monster in my head that likes to get a few words in from time to time. Wish me luck! I'll let you know when I get there.

February 24, 2010

We have been out of town this week. My mother-in-law passed away so we went to Kentucky to pay our respects and say goodbye. It's been a difficult time and now that we are back, I think that we are all in need of a rest. I will be back next week and on my way to something, but for now I just want time to reflect, hold my husband's hand and remind my children of how much I love them.

February 15, 2010

This week is looking like a catch up week in some of the less literary aspects of life in a homeschooling house. School schedules need to be looked at and altered a bit here and there, I need a kitchen day in case this snow decides to knock out power or just keep us from going anywhere, and I should probably hunt down the cold germs the kids have been sneezing all over the house. I'd like to make some progress with Fiddlebug's case of dragonpox and remember to call Tamarack... again... but that's about all I hope to be on my way to this week. This much snow really kills motivation!

February 12, 2010

Another week gone and about the only thing I managed was getting the vehicle stuck in the snow TWICE. Tamarack never got called. I even had to cancel the trip to the conference/workshop up in Charleston this weekend because the weather is just too iffy and the roads are too icky. I got the first little bit of the new Fiddlbug story roughed in, but that's the sum of my accomplishments. I don't' know whether to take it as a sign that I need to take a step or two back and curl up for a little down time or what. I think I'm going to go hibernate for the weekend. Maybe next week I won't be spending so much time digging in the snow and can get my butt back in my chair and my fingers back on the keyboard.

February 8, 2010

Mondays are weird. You can feel the potential of the week hovering just out of reach and this should be a good thing, but it normally just ends up feeling manic. So after a big breath and a trip to the post office, I'm a little less scattered and ready to babble here for a few minutes.
Over the weekend I ended up having to go through all of my desk drawers in search of a specific computer disk for the hubby. I'm not sure about your desk, but mine ends up catching odd bits of everything from around the house - I'm sure I don't' put it all there either! Interestingly I happened to find some forgotten story starts in a couple of buried notebooks. This made me remember the even longer forgotten story starts I had in a folder on my computer that hadn't been opened in a couple of years or so. what can I say, I've got a mind like a steal trap - things get in there and never escape to the world again. My muse is probably off in the ether giggling her butt off about this too. Here I am, knowing I need to get one more story done for the Fiddlebug and Friends trilogy and I'm distracted by post-apocalyptic Anna with her half human/ half elf issues, or the short story I wrote about the last chain smoking moments before the vampire makes it in the door, and I spent two hours dinking with Harmony the very self-absorbed, and decidedly inharmonious dryad. And that's only THREE from the folder - all of which could use the liberal and loving strokes of a red pen. So, I'm trying to reign in my new found enthusiasm for old projects enough to get some work done that I think needs to happen first. It's not easy!
So this week I'm on my way to: a second call to Tamarack and at least one good start on the new Fiddlebug and Friends rough draft. (with some sneaky brainstorming on the other stuff thrown in like brain chocolate... when I make some decent progress of course.) I think I'm gonna enjoy the journey!

Feb 5, 2010

You know what they say about best laid plans... It's okay though, sick kids and impending snow storms have to come first, that's just how it is. I won't even go into what all I didn't get done. I'm looking at it as Mother Nature's way of telling me to breathe. On the positive side, I did get one manuscript cleaned up and ready to print, and I called Tamarack (although I had to leave a message and will most likely have to call back next week.) Monday will start another week and it's too early to tell what it might hold. Until then, the snow is coming down and I'm pretty sure we're just dealing with a nasty cold, so I think I'll spend the weekend snuggled up with a notebook to see what words end up on paper.

February 1, 2010

(Adjusting imaginary football helmet and shoulder pads) This week is looking rather interesting! A blood drive, lunch with a friend, finally getting Christmas gifts delivered to my "kid from other parents" and her family, the final season of Lost (yes, I'm an addict), and the normal, everyday homeschooling/house/mom/wife stuff. I've decided to use it all as a distraction to help me keep up the acts of bravery in my literary life. I submitted a (very) rough query letter to the critique group in the hopes that once they stop chopping at it I'll be able to see how to rebuild it better... stronger... faster (oops, couldn't resist). I'm calling Tamarack to get scheduled for a pre-judging for Fiddlebug. I'm picking up the copies I have on consignment at a wonderful bookstore in Bluefield, Va (Hearthside books if you ever get over that way) so that I can continue my plan to regroup and rethink sales. I'm also going to finish cleaning up a couple of manuscripts to take with me on Feb. 13th to a writer's workshop in Charleston. All in all a busy week - and I'm really looking forward to getting on my way to it!

January 30, 2010

I did it! I sent Fiddlebug in to the Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards contest. It should be there within the next few days. I really feel good about it too - not nearly as nervous as I thought I'd be. Maybe it's just the fact that the decision has been made and the act completed, but I think it's also because I honestly believe my little dragon stands every bit of a chance as any other book there. It feels like I made the right choice - even with my purse quite a bit lighter for it.

Research and brainstorming are moving a bit slower, but sometimes that's how they have to go. My direction on both is a bit more defined than it was at the beginning of the week so that's progress.

I'm off to enjoy some down time before Monday rolls around again.

January 25, 2010

Well, it's Monday and the thought waters are still churning away.
Most of the contests I'm running into require a 10,000 word minimum. this is a problem for me since I'm roughly 500-900 words short for both of the Fiddlebug and Friends stories. I'm happy with how they are and feel that adding that many words wouldn't be a benefit to the storyline and could possibly turn negative. I've got one more to write in the first trilogy, and could possibly add them together into one book at that point. I need to see deadlines first to make sure I have enough time to do the third one right. Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny would work great, but is currently on an exclusive trip to woo an agent. I'll hear something there by the end of February, but I'm stuck on that front until then.
I'm also not fond of the Froggy Hibernation Station rough draft I just reread. Major revisions are needed there, but that's okay - writing fertilizer helps stories grow, right? My query letter could use an overhaul too for the same reason.
All of that being said, I think it's going to be a brainstorming and research week. So that's what I'm on my way to. I'll let you know what idea's I've stumbled across when I get there.

January 23, 2010

Well, I've made it to what I was on my way to with a lot more grace other times. The fact that I actually did get to the end of my list this week makes me feel pretty good though. Maybe because it was harder to stay focused. Maybe because I fit in more of the rest of my world into the "Done" pile while I kept up with this part. Either way, the plan worked and I am standing closer to my goals than I was when I stopped by here last. So now it's time to give in to the feeling of Brain Drain and take a couple of steps back. I've got a few ideas swirling around in my head for this coming week. We'll see what comes to the surface on Monday...

January 18, 2010

Here I am, back at Monday with a new week stretching out in front of me. I had a great lunch with a friend and fellow writer. the boys are working on school. Hubby is off to work. The house is quiet, the weather is warmer and the sun is shining. Yep, you guessed it: The last thing I really want to be doing right now is sitting at my computer. However, writing this blog is actually still doing the job I wanted it to do. It's reminding me to stick with the plan and move forward a little every day - even on the days when I don't' really want to. So this week I've decided to get initial revisions and proofreading done for The Froggy Hibernation Station. It's been on the back burner for a while now. I'm also going to get the first little bit of the new story idea typed into the computer since right now it's so tentative it's in pencil in a random notebook. On the bravery front I'm sending in my entry for the Highlights Fiction Contest tomorrow when the post office is open again, and I've made up my mind to look for more contests to enter. I will be entering Fiddlebug in the Writer's Digest contest for self-published books next payday (hopefully). I think it stands as good of a chance as any and better than some. I'll do the happy dance if I get an honorable mention... beyond that I'd LOVE to win, so I'll hold on to that shiny thread of hope and keep my fingers crossed. I'm happy with what I'm on my way to this week and can't wait to get there!

January 13, 2010

Monsters are fickle creatures. As soon as you determine to face them and put on your cape and tiara the blasted things go on vacation. I have to wait about 3 weeks before I can grapple with the Feat of Tamarack critter. They won't be accepting applications for pre-judging until the first part of February. This leaves me with all sorts of unused bravery that is trying to deflate. I think I'll redirect the war cry to figuring out the critique group rules before I chicken out! I'm sure it is just cause to keep the armor on and will definitely be beneficial to my future writing. So although my direction changed slightly, I'm still on my way to battling the monster of personal fear. Thankfully I still have chocolate handy.

January 11, 2010

Last night I watched my cousin in his television debut on Food Network Challenge's Newlywed Cake episode. I was so very proud of him. Not for winning - which he did not do - but for having the courage to do something that he loves - under circumstances that he did not have the details to beforehand - in front of camera's that would enable the masses to park themselves in their personal judgement recliners so they could give him the thumbs up or thumbs down as they saw fit. Takes some mighty strong guts if you ask me.
This morning on my errands I saw that the small garage housing one lone firetruck (that our local volunteer fire dept. keeps there so that they can respond more quickly to our area) had caught fire during the night. the firetruck was hooked up to a wrecker when I pulled into the gas station in the same parking lot as the garage. Its paint was blackened and its windows cracked from the heat. Rather ironic and definitely not good for our area, but still better than it could have been - as I said, there was a gas station that could have gone up too.
Both of these things have had me thinking today. I'm not talking exactly an epiphany moment here, but more of a sinking i of things that maybe I have been avoiding looking at head on. Together the thoughts combine into this: you never know what is going to happen next, be brave and if it doesn't' go as well as you might have wanted it to - it probably could have gone LOT worse.
In honor of this thought I've decided that this is Be Brave Week for me. We have a place here in West Virginia called Tamarack - the best of West Virginia. They carry the works of artists and writers who live in West Virginia. They also supply all of the gift stores at all of the rest areas in West Virginia with merchandise from what I hear. Seems like a no brainer that I would have already tried to get Fiddlebug into their bookstore, right? My problem is that they have a judging process and to be honest, I'm scared of it. Thanks to my wonderful cousin Tony and a burned up firetruck, I've decided to set aside that fear this week and take whatever steps I can to get my little book into Tamarack.
I'm also on my way to getting the first round of editing and revisions done on the last rough draft. I figure that will keep my mind off of freaking out over the Tamarack process. (crossing my fingers and hoping really, REALLY hard.)

January 9, 2010

It's been a hectic week - dentist appointments, bad weather, etc. I'm glad I didn't put too much emphasis on the creative side because the mundane world was in the spot light way too much for my brain to play. I did manage to meet my goals though and even tossed in designing new business cards for myself since my others were out of date. All in all I'm happy with my progress.

Now the down side: After some careful thought I decided to pull most, if not all, of the books I have out on consignment and spend some time regrouping and planning how to market Fiddelbug. I think I'm doing the right thing, but at the same time pulling them feels a little like giving up and I don't like that. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how it works out.

January 4, 2010

Here I am again on a Monday. Monday's always seem to have strange combinations of theme music in my head, and today is no exception. Floating around in my brain I've got the Lollypop Guild welcoming me to Munchkin Land while the Gorillaz work Feel Good Inc. into the mix. Trust me, it clashes. I'm blaming it all on the fact that I've been tasked with double checking our Open Enrollment paperwork and the changes to our health insurance. Paperwork has never been and most likely will never be one of my favorite things - especially when it's written in a dialect of legalese.
This in combination with the fist week of school after a nice big break has made me decide to keep this week's literary goal straight forward and small. When I originally published Fiddlebug, I split the book in half (roughly) due to self-publishing/per book cost. I planned to edit the second half as another bedtime story book including multiple stories. I have since changed my mind and decided to do chapter books instead because the second half just works better in my mind that way. I've been working at getting the stories separated out. This week's goal is to carve out the other story I know is pretty much complete and get it into it's own file. Then I'll check to see what is left over and how I can use it. Unless my muse decides to come bite me on the butt, that's all I'm on my way to this week... well, that and maybe the Tylonal.

January 2, 2010

I actually accomplished my little To do List - well mostly anyway =). I still need to get some back issues of a couple of magazines and do research on them to see if freelancing would work for me. There looks to be a flaming hoop or two involved in some of them and I'm not sure how well jumping through them will work with our school schedule. I think the writing practice would be tool though.
I have finished the rough draft I was working on and set it aside for a couple of weeks. It's always easier for me to see where the first corrections need to happen that way. The best part of finishing this particular one is that those who asked if Cindy, the honeybee, ever shows back up in the story will get a nice dose of her.
All in all I'm happy with the progress I made. I'm letting the weekend lead itself while I decide what I'll be don my way to next week.

Dec. 29, 2009

It's a beautiful, snowy Tuesday out there and I'm feeling pretty good about my week so far. Christmas break - especially the parts with the laughing and the cookies - helped me regroup and clear off some of the accumulated desk clutter. It also helped remind me that normal life around here is constantly in flux, so smaller goals with wider time frames work better for me than big dramatic "push myself" accomplishments. maybe this will change if my writing changes from personal to professional, but for now I think homeschooling teenagers offers quite enough opportunity for big deadlines and stress.
So this week, I've decided to set myself two small goals dealing with the literary world. First, I'd like to finish the last couple of pages for the rough draft that I set aside in the Christmas rush. It will just feel good to get that project to the next step. The second is to look up three magazines that accept freelance work. If freelancing looks like a good fit, it would be really nice to get my name out to a wider audience than I've been able to with Fiddlebug so far - and some extra money always comes in handy.
That's what I'm on my way to this week. I'll let you know when I get there!

A Moment to Explain (April 7, 2010)

Okay, so the experiment of posting each subsequent addition to my blog in the comments section in order to save room and divide up my 1 blog on Writer's Digest into something that resembled 3 blogs didn't work as well as I had hoped it would. What can I say, not all time saving ideas and lazy actions work out in the long run. I actually realized this a couple of months ago, but got wrapped up in other things and decided to hold off on moving it - I mean, how hard could it be, right? (you can stop laughing any time now...) Needless to say, it may take a little while, but I think the transition will be worth it. In the mean time, think of this as re-run week. You get a chance to catch up on anything you might have missed (especially with my weird format experiment), rethink anything that might have caught your attention before and then got lost in the shuffle of life, and of course add your two cents anywhere and everywhere - I do ask that you keep comments pg-13 and under seeing as I write kids books and plan to link this to my website (coming soon).
Enjoy the process! (one of us might as well )

A Place to Start (Dec. 28,2009)

I am lousy at time management - or maybe the truth is that I'm lousy at delegating, saying no, expecting other people to do their part without my supervision, and focusing on my own things. So I guess that makes me a micro-manager who doesn't have enough of her own time left to actually mange. Kind of sad when you think about it. What's worse is that I know I'm not alone in this. It's not limited to parents or spouses. It has nothing to do with being male or female. Age doesn't matter either. You only have to be human to enjoy this sense of being overwhelmingly behind.
All things considered I know this is not a healthy way for a person to be. So OF COURSE I've decided to add another thing to the Busywork List and start a blog. OF COURSE it's going to be the latest and greatest blog out there in cyberspace (well, at least the latest for about a nano-second) where I'm going to change the world. Hey, even if no one else out there reads it or joins in the fun, I'm here and if I flog myself hard enough I'll contribute and it will change me. Since I live in the world - it counts.
The purpose of this blog - affectionately called "On My Way to It" - is to help get goals a little more realistic, To Do Lists a tad bit more manageable, and possibly strike the flint to spark a light at the end of the tunnel for a few projects. the glory is that I don't care how big or small it is - progress is progress! It all adds up. Plus, venting is a good thing and I figure there is going to be quite a bit of that mixed in here.
Since I'm moving this from my Writer's Digest page and setting it up correctly instead of experimenting with keeping it going by comment instead of blog posts (failed lazy, space saver idea), I'll be (trying) to focus mainly on my various writing projects and marketing concerns that are floating around in my brain and struggling in and into reality. that doesn't mean this space needs to stay JUST about writing, and PLEASE, feel free to add - whether it's what you happen to be on your way to or some advice. I'd love to hear it. Life is such a great idea generator - share it all!