Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010

My meandering week saw a letter sent to Headline Books to see if they have had a chance to read Bart and the Amber Bee Award. These things take time, but since I sent the manuscript in June I think it is best to double check. Here's hoping that they are still considering and that the envelope didn't just wander off into the black hole of lost mail!
I also got Eco-Libris stickers on all of my Clyde the Undead Dust Bunny Books, and printed out the signs and bookmarks I will need for the Pajama Program donation box when I set up at the craft show on Nov. 12th.
Most importantly, I'm starting to feel a little less overwhelmed by it all. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
During my "down time" I also had time to think. One thing that came to mind is that I'll feel better after the craft show. It will be my first official appearance with Clyde the Undead Dust Bunny. Despite the fact that my goal is not as lofty as becoming the next J.K. Rowling, there is a certain level of celebration and recognition that should accompany a new book. Book launches help carry the "new book" excitement out into the world and validate the author's choice to write. Since it will be over a month since the book came out before I will actually launch it, I admit to harboring a small fear of inconsequential invisibility. My own fault, I know better than to schedule that much time before events.
Live and learn. Now on to the weekend! Happy Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Almost comfortable Skin #16

#16 If you are holding up both ends of a relationship, you are the only one in it.

(Wednesdays Words come from either personal experience or observed situations that have settled into the thought patterns that make me who I am.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010

There are times when regrouping and contemplation are the best things we can possibly do for ourselves... Yes, I heard that snort all the way over here. Trust me, I don't have the time to lay everything I'm doing down and stare off into space until it all clicks into gear either. I've noticed that "being my own boss" while being my only employee is a juggling act with very interesting consequences when the balls drop. Depending on what hat I'm wearing at the time no one but me may even notice that one of them got away and no one but me may understand how terrible the fact that it did is for my plans. I only regret that the not noticing issue doesn't apply when I can't fit laundry or dishes into my schedule... Ah well, wishful thinking. I'm sure everyone out there understands this whole concept on at least one level and probably on five or six. I'm also sure everyone knows how tempting it is to set some of those less understood balls down until a "better time" comes along to work them back in. I'm battling that right now. I have to say, the timing is odd. I'm still thrilled with how Clyde... came out, but it's almost like bringing her into the world kicked off a sort of "baby-blues". "Excitement" is having trouble making it through "over-whelmed".
I spent the weekend really weighing my options, and had you been around the house you would have seen exactly how grouchy THAT made me. Take pity on my family! Then I sat down at my desk this morning trying to figure out what the heck to write here. I was glaring around thinking snarky thoughts and, wonder of wonders, my squinty little eyes fell on the silly tiara Scott and the boys got me for my birthday last year. Epiphany cascade! Here it is translated from brain speech into English 1) I am not trying to save the world, I'm trying to make myself a better person. 2) I cannot make myself a better person if I'm making myself miserable by trying to do more than I really can. It's counter productive. 3) I'm the one holding the psychological whip. 4) I can stop whipping myself anytime I want. 5) Now would be a good time.
Gotta love the feeling of "I'm such a doofus" that happens when you realize you're doing something dumb. Needless to say, I put the whip down. I'm trying something a little different this week - and probably next week and definitely any other week that I feel the need. I'm On My Way to an Accomplishment List for Friday. No goals to flog myself to fit in with everything else I need to do - although I do have some things in mind to check out. Just me enjoying the scenery on my chosen path for a change. If I'm not careful this might even feel like a (gasp) vacation! I'll share my travel log with you on Friday - it'll be nice to see what happens when I just wander for a change!

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010

My porch thermometer read 39 degrees this morning... YUCK! That means snow is just around the corner! Don't get me wrong, I like snow. I love how it makes the world look clean and makes my brain feel like it's time to snuggle up into warm fuzzy thoughts. What I don't like is cold, and 39 degrees is a pretty good indicator that it's here and doesn't plan on leaving for a while. *sigh*
This actually ties in strangely with meeting my goals for the week - which I did. I am 22 handwritten pages (which equals... well not so much) into something that will require a pen name if it ever makes it out of the house. Stop looking nervous. It will probably fall into the young adult category, so using the same name I publish children's books under is a bad idea. I like the concept and character and hope it continues moving forward - BUT (yep, there is one of those) this character surfaced, demanded to be put on the page and has been making poking gestures at a few things that have been bothering me ever since. My subconscious is mean that way. So, it seems that it's time to make some changes in my world. Suffering for my art seems silly to me - I'd rather make the necessary changes that will allow me to dance because of it.
How does this tie in with the cold? I'm glad you asked. No matter what the calendar says I think that each of us has a temperature gauge that tells us when the season is changing. My gauge shouted it loud and clear today. Season changes are great times for habit changes as far as I'm concerned. If everything changes at once I'm less likely to find myself falling back into old routines. I think this is a great weekend to really look at where I am on my personal path. Next week I'll start drawing up a new map just in case the path gets lost in the impending snow.
Have a great weekend and I'll see you Monday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Almost comfortable Skin #19

#19 You may not look back and laugh, but you can look back and accept.

(Wednesdays Words come from either personal experience or observed situations that have settled into the thought patterns that make me who I am.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18, 2010

Hey look, it's another Monday and here I am ready to make some new goals. Okay maybe not exactly ready, but I'm going to pretend that I am anyway!
Over the weekend my friend and fellow writer Theresa Flerx (check out her website at ) went up to Charleston for the West Virginia Book Festival. While we were there we had the opportunity to listen to Nicholas Sparks speak about his writing career. He is the exception to the rule when it comes to time spent searching for representation in the publishing industry. It would be easy to be jealous of a man who got an agent 3 days after sending his first query letters, sold his first book for 1 million dollars very shortly after finding the agent, sold the film rights of that book before the actual book deal was closed, and gets called to see if he has "anything lying around" that Miley Cyrus could star in for Disney. Then you hear him speak, and you want to cheer him on instead. He truly seems like a good person. I'm glad I had the chance to listen.
Since I have not yet climbed to where Mr. Sparks has I do believe that it is time to set forth this weeks goals for the literary mountain. I may never sell a manuscript for 1 million dollars... but then again if I don't work toward that goal then I don't stand a chance!
This week I am On My Way To writing something new. No goals for word count, no goals for time spent. I just feel like seeing what comes out of my head if the only goal is to get something on paper. My thinker-upper needs some exercise. The marketing for Clyde, the real world, the paperwork will all fit in as they fit in. I'll let you know what happens to the blank page on Friday... hopefully it will turn into many filled pages!
Until then, best wishes with your own path this week!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 16, 2010

Despite the fact that a few curve balls flew into an already busy week, I am proud to say that I got almost all of my list accomplished. I've got 2 bookstores that I still want to contact, but I did send an e-mail to a couple of others that I did signings with for Fiddlebug. I've also got new pictures that still need taken - and since the leaves are falling pretty darned fast I think I should get on that. I got caught up on the latest round of paperwork, and school schedules are under control for the moment. The Pajama Program donation option is up on my site and Ecolibris is just on hold until the post office delivers the stickers for the books. (Oh, and I got the house cleaned up, and the dog bathed.) Now I'm off to get ready for writers group and a trip to the WV Book Festival. Happy weekend to everyone!
(Okay, the picture has nothing to do with the week - I admit it. Still who doesn't want to hide sometimes?)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #4

#4 How to find the right jeans: Make sure they fit both of your bottom lines.

(Wednesdays Words come from either personal experience or observed situations that have settled into the thought patterns that make me who I am.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11, 2010

Ah Monday - you are looking big and hairy and your pointy teeth are showing (much like the picture). I'm not sure I like you very much, especially since you are pulling the rest of the week along with you and those days are sort of scary looking too. Don't get me wrong, it's all good stuff - well aside from the still needing to clean the house part anyway. It's just that there are a LOT of different directions involved. I feel scattered already.
So here is what I'm On My Way To this week:
1) Finish getting everything set up to sort of partner with Pajama Program (Want more information? ) on Clyde sales. I'm going to add an option on the website (and at book signings also) for people to purchase a copy of Clyde that will then be donated to Pajama Program. It's an all around winning situation. People can give a donation that will make a kid happy; Pajama Program will get more exposure and also (hopefully) quite a few books; and I can get more copies of Clyde out and about.
2) I am also planning to partner with Ecolibris. They are a wonderful company that allows you the option of "balancing your library" of physical books by planting a tree for each book that you purchase a sticker for. Stickers are made from recycled paper and soy based ink which is an added bonus. Authors who partner with the company also get some added marketing help. Once again, a very good deal all the way around. (By the way, anyone can purchase stickers to balance their library. Just go to )
3) Catch up on all paperwork - including finish typing Mason's school schedule BLAH!
4) Contact a couple of book stores about signings.
5) Take some pictures to post here.
6) New writer's group meeting on Saturday. Thankfully I've already got the piece I'm taking ready.
I'm cutting the list off there. I know there is no knew writing, but to be honest, my brain is a little fried and I'm wanting to enjoy the Clyde the Undead Dust Bunny roller coaster for a little while longer before I look around for something new. New books deserve a LOT of attention - and require a lot too!
So, that's where I'm heading this week. Sounds like a good reason to give in to my pj-wearing-mole-person nature and just stay home! I'll let you know how it goes on Friday!

Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8, 2010

And the house is.... still absolutely in need of a fleet of cleaners to descend upon it with their magic carts of supplies. Don't get me wrong, I got a lot done this week. I just didn't get much cleaning done aside from necessary laundry and dishes. One thing I've learned though is that I don't have to fear; the mess will still be there later. Heck it will probably have grown larger too! No "bad mom and wife" guilt will be needed because someone else came and did my job. Strangely, I wouldn't mind feeling a little guilty that way at the moment (just joking people!)
I have been finishing up other back-burner things though which feels really good. I finally got the trim painted at Mom's - that's been on the list since June... Mason got to go clothes shopping - very necessary... Chance got to the dentist - also very necessary... I'm wrestling school schedules for the boys - which I don't want to talk about... I have some marketing balls rolling for Clyde - which was too much fun to pass up... My friend and I celebrated the "birth" of our books -EXCELLENT day!... And now it's off to restock what we're out of and get some things in the mail. I'll see you again on Monday when I'm sure I'll claim to be On My Way To a clean house again!
(Here's an older picture of our house during a really pretty sunset - I'm adding "take new pictures" to my To Do List right now!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday's Words from almost Comfortable Skin #2

#2 If you are swimming with the sharks you are one of 3 things: 1) also a shark 2) a parasite 3) a future snack.

(Wednesdays Words come from either personal experience or observed situations that have settled into the thought patterns that make me who I am.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4, 2010

Welcome to another week! The first whole week of having Clyde the Undead Dust Bunny all nice and tucked into her book and available! It still feels really good, but the realization that it's time to get to work selling the book is starting to set in. So is the realization of everything that got put on the back burner the last couple of forevers while I twitched text, revised illustrations and wrestled formatting issues. Truth be told the real world is going to be getting a whole lot of my attention this week. The rest of my little scattered brain and itty bitty amount of time is going to be devoted to getting Clyde into the stores that have been kind enough to invite me to sell my books there in the past.
All in all it looks like I'm On My Way To a very busy week! Full speed ahead!!!!
(Today's picture is of our fireplace which is standing in line with the rest of the house for an overdue cleaning!)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October 2, 2010

Well, Clyde the Undead Dust Bunny and I have had a very busy week! The box of books arrived on Wednesday afternoon and I of course had to spend some time ooing and aweing and generally proving that I am one of those bouncy, shrieky, girl creatures when I'm excited about something - I've given up being embarrassed by this fact too. The best part was that any worry that I had about the files being wrong in some drastic way that would mess the book up have been laid to rest. The cover looks great, the pages are just how I wanted them. I think the quality would stand beside anything out there and hold its own. I am VERY happy with how the finished product turned out. Blatant plug alert: I would recommend 48Hr Books to anyone in need of a good book printer, and fully intend to be a return customer for my next book too.
After I was done (well, maybe it was during) with the doofy smile stage I started delivering the local pre-orders and getting the out of town ones packed up which is a really cool process. Then yesterday I took some over to Kittens Korner in White Sulpher Springs and Paulette's Pastries in Ronceverte for consignment. Silver Birch in Union and Rebecca's Jewelry Box in Fairlea will also be carrying them locally, but I need to deliver theirs to them yet. I also got my excel tracking sheet up and running (okay Scott got it up and running, but I still got all the books logged, so it counts). And I had my first order come in from the website store!!!
I've limited direct sales so far just because yesterdays deliveries were made while multi-tasking a clothes shopping trip for Mason and running a couple of other errands. My brain only holds so much at a time and I don't want to lose track of the whos and wheres on sales. Besides I'm hoping to do a couple of mini-launches which should provide a lot more fun for everyone than accosting strangers while out and about!
So anyway, I made my goals and am really happy with where everything stands at the moment! Now I'm going to enjoy the weekend! See you on Monday!