Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29, 2011

Here we are at another Friday. It's been a busy week, but a productive one on a number of levels. I made another book store connection a couple of hours away on Monday, straightened out 2 problems with book information that I didn't know I had until that connection was made on Monday, made it to the gym twice with plans to go tomorrow, and today I'm baking cookies and getting ready to go look at potential apartments for Mom with my brother. I feel pretty darned productive. Here's hoping it lasts!

Enjoy your weekend, watch out for nasty weather, and I'll be back on Monday.

(Note on the pic: Some ground cover from my "fairy bed" since I feel like I'm covering so much ground lately!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #23

#23 Good neighbors are priceless.

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011

Busy, busy week ahead for me. Today is a trip into the wild blue yonder of talking to book store managers about book signings with my friend and fellow author Theresa Flerx. Friday looks like a day in Princeton with my brother looking at areas and places to rent for Mom. In between now and then there is grocery shopping, the packing of boxes, the gym, and all the the real world stuff around here that should have been done last week (or the week before...) and will probably get set aside again. (No fear, I really don't want to clean the bathrooms or wash the kitchen floor, so the rest of it gives me an excuse not to!) If the weather stays so beautiful I'm hoping to do some more weeding too since yesterday was so productive in that area and my big front flower bed is looking pretty darned spiffy now! So is the area around my new composting spot at the end of the fairy bed.
For now though I need to be On My Way to looking presentable and getting out the door. See you Friday!

(Note on the pic: Here is my new composting area. By next year I'll be able to separate the log part into two sections and begin using the compost that I'm adding to and breaking down this year.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

April 22, 2011

Happy long weekend (for some of you) and Happy Easter!

Want a good description of the past week here? Just check out the picture of my daffodils (placed strategically away from where I normally walk since they make me sneeze like a mad fiend). See how they are all "looking" in a different direction and seem just generally confused and distracted? That's my brain. I'm figuring this will be the normal operating mode for a little as we hunt for a new place for Mom to live and then get her settled.

I also made the mistake of filing a revision to Clyde the Undead Dust Bunny. It was just the removal of one line of text (my old website address) and a very minor cover change. I honestly thought this would be a week long process at the outside and under the worst case scenario. I was wrong. I neglected to change my e-mail address for their contact information so the e-mail letting me know that the fonts were not embedded in the new file went into the nothingness of lost Internet mail. That bumped the 3 day change time to a week and a phone call from me to find out what was going on, plus another change, plus that 3 day change time (if all the files are okay this time) PLUS the up to 5 more weeks to get everything back in the system. I'm thinking I should have just left it well enough alone. At this point the down time could threaten a signing I have in June and I really can't schedule any more with the book being unavailable. Sort of a sales killer. It reminds me of that story about losing a kingdom because of a horseshoe nail... I just keep reminding myself that "One day, this will be funny."

See you on Monday (hopefully with a more positive, and less befuddled attitude!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #27

#27 Casual rudeness is the stem from which the thorns of anger grow.

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

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

This week is off to a really rocky start. Without adding to the drama by going into detail here, it looks like we are going to have to relocate my mom. There are situations that just really shouldn't have to be dealt with, and I don't see things getting any better where she currently is. It's a pity too - she owns her place. It's a nice place and all of her flowers are just starting to come up. Right now, she is staying with us. I hope you will keep her in your thoughts and add your hopes for a good resolution to the problem in with ours. So, until further notice, my focus is going to be on finding the best solution possible for Mom. Anything else I happen to fit in will be great (and probably a well needed diversion), but for now I'm only On My Way To getting her away from the chaos.
Wish me luck, and have a great week!

(Note on the pic: It's always good to remember that weeds grow strong too.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15, 2011

Hello WEEKEND! (Even with the impending storm on the horizon) I think I'm going to celebrate the fact that I did actually accomplish some things this week by baking. Seems counter productive since one of the things I'm celebrating is making it to the gym 3 times as planned, but most of the baked goods get attacked by Scott and the large children I'm fairly safe. I'm usually lucky if I can manage to grab one bite sized example and still pull my hand away without bite marks. I am only exaggerating slightly.
Tuesday's trip to the local high school to sit on Emily's senior project panel went very well. She did a great job with her presentation, and the two teachers sitting beside me as judges were very impressed as well. I'm very curious to see what she ultimately decides to do with her story. I know she's entered it in a contest so far. I'm wishing her the best of luck on it.
By the way, I managed to get my inventory and records under control again, finished a rough draft for an upcoming contest, visited a couple of libraries who will (hopefully) invite me over for story time and give me the chance to sell a couple of books in the process this week. I've also got a school story time visit that promises to be a new experience due to the fact that I'm hearing I may be up in front of a larger number of people than usual in the works. Not a bad week considering I went with the "wing it" theory.
Now it's off to the kitchen to play "mad scientist" with baked goods. Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you again on Monday!

(note on the pic: A close-up of my peach tree from last Monday.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #

#26 When you go to someone else’s house, get out of your vehicle, walk up to their door and politely knock or ring the bell. DO NOT sit in their driveway and honk your horn. It’s rude.

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

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Hello you beautiful, sunshiny day! You are making it awfully hard to think fondly of going to the gym, but that's alright, I'll just use the grumbly-about-being-inside feeling to fuel my workout. It should be a good one - I'm glad I stocked up on ibuprofen!
This week is mostly about tying up loose ends and I'm not going to bore you with details. I'm sure I went on about them in past posts - probably multiple past posts - so I'll just let their hopeful completion be a surprise on Friday. The only oddity I'm On My Way To this week is that I will be going to a senior project presentation by our family friend Emily Oliver tomorrow. She let me be her mentor this year - a fact that makes me feel very honored. I'm really looking forward to seeing all of her hard work come together. She chose to use fairy tales, a subject very near and dear to me, as her topic. Her research was well detailed despite a lack of resources that she could actually site in her report, and her final product - a retelling of a transformation themed story - is just adorable. I admit, I'm hoping she chooses to pursue publishing for it.
With that said, I think it's time I got moving on things. I wish you a happy and productive week - and please remember to send happy thoughts in Emily's direction!

(note on the pic: Detail from my front flower bed. I love grape hyacinth.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 8, 2011

On a serious note first, please keep my Aunt Joan and the rest of my extended family in your prayers. My Uncle Harold passed away a few days ago after an extended and bravely fought battle with cancer. He was a good guy - you would have liked him if you had a chance to meet him. I'm sorry he is gone, but I'm glad that his suffering is past. For those he left behind; may they find peace and remember him with smiles.

Now for the normal stuff: I've got some leftovers for next weeks list. I'm trying to look at them the same way as I do homemade chili - they may have been good when they first went on the list, but they will be better for the time they sat. Besides, coming home and immediately having the control box on the water pump go out sort of sucked the wind out of my "Let's run around and talk to libraries and schools about my great new idea" Sails. I'm a bathing type of person, so scummy business meetings are on my no-no list. Everything is fixed now - VERY thankfully - so I'll be able to handle the visits with much more squeaky clean confidence next week. I'm also still working on the Galax Book Festival, but that should be easier next week also since I'll be home. Less phone tag is always better, and cell phones are a bit unreliable where I live. As for the gym... we just don't even want to talk about that. Next week is a new week.
This weekend holds the glamour of the grocery store, and hopefully some dirty work in the flower beds (if the forecast doesn't hold more of that stinking snow). Maybe I'll even be able to start setting up the tree house... I work so much better out there sometimes! Anyway, enjoy your weekend, and I'll see you again on Monday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday's Words from Almost Comfortable Skin #41

#41 It is usually about what needs to be done, not what you want to do.

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

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 6, 2011

Welcome to Testing Week! Literally. Okay it's just two days - three if you count Mason's ACT on Saturday, but it really does shift the entire week into the weird(er) zone schedule-wise around here. Chance and I will be off to Renick, WV on both Tuesday and Wednesday - bright and early - so he can take the required standardized test for the school board. While he's doing that I will be giving the test to one of the lower grades (you can't test your own kids after all), so please wish us all luck. I still say it's incredibly silly to judge any child's abilities on a single test, but we must play the game by the rules. The good part is that we use this opportunity to take a "mini-vacation" from the norm, so Chance and I will be staying in Lewisburg with the indoor pool and hot tub - and much closer proximity to Renick. Very stress relieving! We'll be closer to the gym too so I shouldn't miss out on my three-times-weekly torture treatments.
As far as my literary life goes, this week is going to have a lot of correspondence involved. The visits to two Barnes & Noble stores on Saturday proved very fruitful for book signings and I've got follow up e-mails to send so I can begin putting together necessary promotional materials. (Side note: the managers and staff at both stores were incredibly nice to work with, if you're ever in the Roanoke, VA area, stop in and get some great reading material!) I'm also working out fine points for the upcoming Galax Book Festival so need to return a phone call. While I'm out in civilization I plan to pitch an idea for a mini-class aimed at middle-graders on developing a character and plot for short stories to the librarians in the area. I think that's where I'm ending the list... paper or technology don't really get along with hot tubs after all!
I wish you well with whatever you are On Your Way To this week! And enjoy any beautiful spring weather that happens to come your way - not matter how short it may stay!
(Note on the picture: Okay, this is an old picture BUT it was taken at Cranberry Glades which is not that far from Renick, WV and I wanted to get a little plug in for the location since people are starting to consider their vacations. There are some beautiful places here if you like nature - some include boardwalks or waterfalls, nature trails and education centers. It really is a great place to bring your kids.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011

Fooled ya! See I did manage to get here and make my update today like I'm supposed to. It took a bit too - I had to overcome a cranky mood, errands, the gym, a "sell stuff" party for a friend - but I'm here anyway. And I've managed to get everything planned either finished or well on its way this week. My new business cards turned out gorgeous, I'm happily in the process of settling plans for the Galax Book Festival, Clyde is snuggled up in her padded envelope and travelling to Cincinnati, Ohio for the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, and I'm off to Roanoke with my friend Theresa Flerx tomorrow to find a couple of book stores to set up signings. All in all (even with the snow flurries sparking a temperamental mood the past couple of days) it has been a good week!
So, have a happy weekend, and I'll see you again on Monday!
(note on the pic: Here's the artwork that appears on my new business card.)