Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28, 2011

It really is too bad that I don't write horror stories with a sky like the one in the picture (taken just a couple of minutes ago) I'm sure I could come up with an ominous and creepy plot. Hmmm I may have to give it a try if I can manage to work it in between tying up some loose ends this week. Heck, maybe the story could be about vampiric paperwork and zombie projects that just won't die... We could call it The Attack of the Creeping Drudgery. Has a nice ring to it.
As you can see, my creativity center is still "under the weather" so to speak. Hopefully that means that I can make some progress in other areas though. This week I think I'm On My Way To an accomplishment list instead of a To Do List. I'll see you on Friday to let you know how it goes. Good luck with your own week - I wish you sunny skies and try trails - and would appreciate the same wishes in return.

Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011

Well, the thinker-upper part of my brain still seems to be offline, but it actually worked out pretty well. Back-burner paperwork doesn't require too much creativity thankfully (and even more thankfully is now a much less weighty pile). I'm still considering my overall plan. I know that right now I'm mostly just frustrated and sort of cranky with how things seem to keep backfiring. I also know that particular combination usually means a change needs to happen. Since I've got a lot of plans already set in motion between now and June, I'm going to concentrate on making small changes between now and then. If things haven't improved by then, maybe a more major shift will be necessary. In other words, I think it's time to start refining the foggier parts of plan B... just in case.
Right now it's off to Friday errand running. I hope your weekend is great!
(Note on the pic: Okay, I admit it - I need to take some new pictures!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #21

#21 Keep moving one foot in front of the other and you’ll get somewhere… just watch what you’re stepping in!

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

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22nd Guest Interview - Theresa Flerx

My guest today is my friend and fellow writer, Theresa Flerx. Having read her life's story I can honestly say that while no one should have to handle much of what she has been through, she is a wonderful example of how to come through bad experiences with courage and strength while maintaining a warm heart and hope for the future.
A SPECIAL NOTE: Theresa will be appearing on The Lifetime Channel's morning show The Balancing Act tomorrow (February 23rd) during their 7:00-8:00 airing. Remember to set your DVR! If you miss it, visit Theresa's website where she will have a link to the video posted. While your there, don't forget to follow her weekday blog and check out her short stories!

Theresa Flerx, writer of her true life story, short stories, and other fiction and nonfiction. My blog - Perceptive Ponderings - is my way of sharing the odd, twisted view of the world I adopted after many anomalous life experiences. I enjoy writing cartoon the strip - The Squabblings of Botd and Chip - on Mondays, a mixed bag of anecdotes throughout the week which culminate with Friday Flerxism, so, after reading Brit's blog on a regular basis check out my blog at

Q) What goal are you working toward?
A)To sell as many copies of my life story - Disequilibrium and the Multi-Faceted Crystal Ball to prove that I can earn money by writing. My ultimate goal is to use writing as a source of income for my "retirement" years. My life experiences have taught me a number of important lessons which my autobiography shares with its readers. Some of the important lessons any one can adopt are coping skills which include balancing, perspective, and the most important skill, a sense of humor. That is another goal of mine - to share these lessons.

Q) What made you decide to pursue your goal?
A)It was the right time. And to stop my recurring nightmares, filled with fury.

Q) Do you have a timeline? If so, how did you set it?
A)To earn a modest, steady income before I turn 60.

Q) What keeps you motivated?
A)I love painting scenes using the written word as my medium.

Q) How will you celebrate when you reach your goal?
A)Happy dance and party.

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21, 2011

I've been trying to figure out what to write here since I opened my mail on Saturday and got a notice from my bank. The check from Borders (which I dropped in the night deposit box while running errands the day before I read that Borders filed for bankruptcy) bounced. This cost me the printing price for the books, the profit I would have made from sales, $10.00 in bank fees - and that's leaving out the gas, food and pretty much an entire days worth of my time in travel and signing that I knew I would have to eat when I scheduled it. (By the way, my friend Theresa is also in this boat although she has not received her check yet so at least hasn't had to pay the bank fee) This comes right before I have to pay my distributor their set up and proof copy fees, order books for an upcoming event (which has a table fee too), pay the entry fee for the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, meet two deadlines for contests (entry fees), and figure out how to pay for the West Virginia Writer's Conference. Each thing on the second list should be something that I'm looking forward to enough to go on a loose change hunt through the house if necessary. Each one is a new chance to take the next step, fund the next stage, introduce my characters to new people... and I have $27.80 in lost money making me ask myself "Why bother?". I'm an awfully small fish swimming in these wordy waters - if the big guys can't come up with that kind of chump change to pay me, what makes me think a distribution channel is going to be a good use of my very limited funds? Maybe I should just wait out the upheaval and use my savings to buy a much needed couch instead - I'd still be doing my part to invest back into the economy after all. AND I'd probably be better off monetarily in the long run too.

Not to be melodramatic, but this is how dreams get lost and die of starvation people.

As for what I'm On My Way To this week. I think it's time to take a good hard look at where I am and where I want to be. If the path I'm on no longer connects the two then it's time to choose a different one. Isn't that just funny too, since this blog is supposed to make me stick to the plan I came up with in the first place! Ah well, adapt of go extinct - I definitely prefer adapting. I'll be back on Friday to let you know if standing on my head changes the view for the better or not. Here's hoping your way is more well lit and has fewer tripping hazards this week!
(Note on picture: I'm hoping I can figure out how to stretch out from under the leaves I've got blocking my sunshine too.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011

In the scheme of the week I have achieved a ton of wonderful and important things covering a wide range of areas. Some of them even fell on the list I posted on Monday. Monday's list, however, suffered a little and didn't quite make it to the "completed" pile. I'm still working on catching any corrections that need to be made before Clyde goes to the distributor - but the paperwork process there has bought me time since I'm at pause for acceptance, so I'm not actually behind (plus I made a small format change and addition in order to stretch the book to 80 pages and keep the spine text.) I've narrowed the book plan down to two options for the future Bart book,and found that I mis-read the Lightning Source information about color interiors (turns out they DO have that option thankfully). No illustrations yet, but I've got PLENTY of time. No query letters to agents or publishers, but I'm never sure if I actually want one, so that's probably the sticking point there. All in all a really good week - especially considering the time dedicated to reading legalese.
Happy weekend to everyone! See you on Monday!
(note on the pic: The pond thawed... maybe spring will be on its way soon!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #45

#45 You have to love yourself first.

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

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15th's Guest Interview - Ashia Salyers

My name is Ashia Salyers, I'm a full time college student and work part time on the side. I plan on becoming an English teacher so it fits that writing is a passion of mine. Currently I am working on a book that has yet to be titled, but I fondly refer to it as the Shifter Tales.

Q) What goal are you working toward?
A)My goal really is to finish a book, I've started quite a few in the past and got no where with them, although with college it gets difficult to make my brain function further to write outside of the classroom.

Q) What made you decide to pursue your goal?
A) I've always had a passion for literature; Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Laurell K. Hamilton, J.K. Rowling, etc... are all absolutely fascinating to me, they each have their own individual writing style, some more educated in their writing than others. but they each deliver in a way that makes you want to continue reading their work long into the night and early hours of the morning.

Q) Do you have a timeline? If so, how did you set it?
A) I try to set a timeline for myself, but get caught up in hundreds of other tasks that must be taken care of, homework, laundry, studying for tests, going to work... and then disappoint myself by not meeting my own timeline.. but I don't want to force my writing so I let it happen freely, and get the urge to write, which then usually hits me full in the face because I ignore it for too long.

Q) What keeps you motivated?
A) Reading books, looking at art, taking photographs, finding things that are beautiful in the ugliest and depressing places. I've learned that when I feel at my lowest, is when I can get out the best work. So, as everyone has experienced, when bad things continue to fall on your plate at the least expectant of times, and they put your world on hold, when you don't know which way is up... that is when I turn out the best writing.

Q) How will you celebrate when you reach your goal?
A) I'm not sure; laugh, cry, yell, tear the book to shreds.. I haven't really thought about how I would celebrate, I just know that I'm going to be terrified that it won't measure up and that no one will like the story that I imagined.

(Just a note - I've the beginning of Ashia's Story - trust me, she shouldn't worry so much. It's a great story! ~Brittney)

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011

On this day of great sharing and love between twitter-pated soul mates and star-crossed admirers-from-afar I would just like to say that I HATE PAPERWORK!!!!!! Okay maybe it isn't the right sentiment for a day of hearts, and flowers, but I'm definitely planning on some chocolate to counteract the affects of proper filing, editing, planning and typing. That's my week in a nutshell by the way... can you feel my joy?
The distribution channel for "Clyde the Undead Dust Bunny" has hoops that I get to pay to jump through too! Plus I need to re-edit and catch a couple of mistakes I missed there and figure out a set price to add to the cover for bookstores. I had planned to start some illustrations this week for Bart and the Amber Bee Award, but have to figure out a cost effective page count and color illustration ratio before I can start (add in that Lightning Source does not handle color books and I may be going back to Authorhouse for that one (probably next year) - great company, just added cost... again. While I'm illustrating the Bart book I think I'm also going to be querying agents or publishers for it. Maybe one of them will see it's greatness and want to pick it up thereby cancelling out a couple of future headaches for me! I have also decided to only Query Bart and the Amber Bee Award and not worry about the letter for Craig's Quest for Crystal Cave. If a publisher likes Bart, they will also like Craig. If they don't like Bart, they won't be interested in Craig. No point in wrestling with a second query letter. Opens up some time to actually send the letter out. I know, I should have thought of that already... forest/trees issue, what can I say. So, there's what I'm On My Way Too this week - and dare I say I'll feel MUCH better after I have it behind me!
In other news, I'm going to change my once a month Guest Interview to once a week, so please watch for my beautiful and talented goddaughter Ashia Salyers tomorrow! I'll be e-mailing other participants with the updated schedule too. If you aren't on my list yet, I'd love to invite you and your goals to stop by and be seen here! Feel free to e-mail me at or check my notes section on facebook if you would like the list of 5 questions!
Best of luck and happy sailing toward your own goals this week. If they include paperwork, know that you aren't in that aggravating boat on your own!
(note on picture: Me and my Valentine!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11, 2010

Ha HA! See my desk? It's all uncluttered and pretty and usable now! MUCH better than Monday. Good enough to help me get my three pages written, catch up some paperwork, keep caught up with my side of the boys' school stuff, make the house look more presentable and come up with one heck of a ravioli recipe. I know what you're thinking - there is no mention of Sophie's Sneeze Projects being done in that list. Well, I need supplies. Since today is grocery day I decided to just wait to run out and get them until I'm going out anyway. Saves gas and sanity - both of which are pretty pricey when you are running low on them. So now it's off to a very busy Friday followed by what I'm hoping will be a wonderful pre-Valentine's Day weekend. I hope you enjoy yours too!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #39

#39 Hands fit together for a reason.

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

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011

Possibly the most important weeks to set goals are the ones that you really don't feel like setting goals. At least that's what I'm telling myself - repeatedly - this week. It probably isn't helping me much that the picture you are looking at is the current state of my desk ("Enabling Disorganized Students to Succeed" booklet and all LOL). Or that Chance is battling through some algebra on the dry erase board I write my goals for the week down on so I can help him figure out how to understand the weird ways or algebra. In other words, it's seat-of-my-pants time.
According to my monthly list I've got quite a bit to do yet, so in order to chop the list down I'm going to get the rest of the Sophie's Sneeze projects made and written up. I'm also going to finish the 3 pages of new writing I need to get done before the end of the month. Since that should use up the itty bitty pocket of creativity I feel hovering in my head it's looking like the rest of the week will be spent regrouping and re-organizing - again... I'm great at both, must be all of the practice I get since I scatter and clutter so easily!
Here's hoping for no unplanned boulders on everyone's paths this week! See you on Friday with (hopefully) more motivation!

Friday, February 4, 2011

February 4, 2011

It's a Friday with homework, but I've got a good excuse - I mean reason. I got caught up in some contest/submissions research (entered Clyde the Undead Dust Bunny in the IPPY Awards, and have started plotting out which others I'm entering according to my budget and their deadlines.) and also started a list of places to contact about book signings and story time visits and started a project plan for older kids since I'm wanting to take Clyde into the middle grades. The Sophie's Sneeze projects are in the works too. It's so easy to get caught up in the research and planning! Happily I beat my 1 page writing goal and wrote 2 1/2 which comes in handy! So my only homework is that blasted query letter. I really need to get over my aversion to writing queries, I know they aren't as terrible as I make them out to be. I know the wording isn't even as important as the luck of catching whoever is reading it on the right day at the right minute with the right attitude to like what they are reading. Maybe that's why I hate writing them so much... Whatever the reason, I'm going to suffer through it and have it done and not hanging over me before the new week starts - I hope... For now, it's off to rejoin the world for a little while! See you Monday!
(Note on the pic: I'm tired of winter and would like some of these again now!)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #33

#33 It probably does not have to be as hard as you are making it.

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

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February's Guest Interview - Scott Cassity

Please let me introduce my first guest, Scott Cassity - my wonderful husband and the first to respond to my questions. I would like to add that I've never seen him step into a project that he can't handle - it's pretty impressive! - and that his powers of planning and organization are something I envy!

February's Interview

1) What goal are you working toward?
(Scott) Working on the house exterior making it look better and add things that my wife and I like.

2) What made you decide to pursue your goal?
(Scott)I started to see how much more potential the exterior could have with very little cost and lots of hard work over a few summers.

3) Do you have a timeline? If so, how did you set it?
(Scott)I usually work on the fly and depending on weather, I like to finish a big project within one summer. I usually figure out how long it will take me to do a task and then figure in worse case factoring in work. My replacement wrap around deck got finished but the roof did not. In my minds eye, the goal was met.

4) What keeps you motivated?
(Scott)The quality of the work being done and knowing it looks just like we expected. I like to see the various changes that make the outside look better and better each year.

5) How will you celebrate when you reach your goal?
(Scott)Well, things like this never really stop as new ideas keep going but individual projects are celebrated in a "I'm glad we did this" kind of way. We are all very hard working and proud of our projects we work on together.