Do you have Spring fever? What is your favorite thing to do in early Spring?
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Cannot believe it is the last day of March. If you are a regular reader, you are probably rolling your eyes by now. I think I say this at the end or beginning of every month. It is cold. I can't lie abut that. But the sun is out. They are calling for rain and snow mixed tomorrow. Still it is Spring, the lake has lost all of its ice. The French pussy willow is budded. There are crocuses in the neighborhood and the air is filled with birdsong. I am itching to plant my flowers. They say not to do that until April, but that's tomorrow- right? So perhaps this weekend I'll be able to get out in the yard and clean up after the winter and tuck some seeds in the earth. Soon we will have those precious few days when it is warm enough to open the windows and cool enough not to have to turn on the air conditioning. I am restless from being sick and thinking that cleaning carpets sounds like fun. Yes, I know, I must be feverish. :D
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I am feeling better. Well, at least I reached the point where I'm done being sick and have decided that I feel better. LOL - Do you do that?
I just finished reading Sarah Addison Allen's "The Girl Who Chased The Moon." It came out a year ago, but I love her books. They are stories set in small towns in the south with magical characters, who make the ordinary special. I was a little disappointed in the "boy who glowed" - what with the Twilight series so big. (No he's not a vampire.) But the rest was precious. And to be honest her first book, "Garden Spells" ran very close to the story line of the movie, "Practical Magic." So she is in the habit of rewriting stories currently in movies. I forgive that and truth be told, wish I could get away with it. If you want to bring a little joy and magic into your life. Read any of her three books, Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen and The Girl who Chased The Moon. Cheers~
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Dearest reader, so sorry to have been missing these few days. I hope you are still checking in on me. I went down to Kansas to help move my parents to their new home. Unfortunately I was also very sick with the flu-and so I was only able to help with the packing and half the driving before I had to come home. I have been in bed since. I will be better soon and hope to catch up then. Take care. Have a fabulous day~
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I am on an adventure. This weekend, I'm going down to help my parents move to their new home. I get to spend time with my family and time away from the interwebs - giving me time to do some reading and some people watching. I've gone from snow and ice to blooming trees and flowers and in the end I'll be going back to snow and ice. If I don't get to the blog tomorrow I hope you have a great weekend. Stay safe and find some fun in your day. Cheers~
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The lake is finally completely free of ice, but there is snow on the way in the next few days. Old Man Winter is not ready to give up yet. I did see snowdrops and crocuses blooming in a neighbor's yard. The French Pussy Willow tree is puffing out with all the tiny white fluffy bits. So, snow or not, the plants are growing. I am itching for planting season. I have bought a ton of seeds/bulbs- morning glories, gladiolas, butterfly flowers, and wildflowers. Some giant packets you are to scatter over your garden. The trouble with those is that I can't tell weeds from flowers and tend to pull them out. So I'm going to have to stake them out. The packets all say I can't plant until April. But April isn't that far away, is it? Soon, I will be complaining of heat and making jelly and jams from the strawberries and grapes. I'm looking forward to it. How about you? Are there flowers blooming where you live?
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Happy birthday to my MIL Marlene. May your day be bright and filled with happiness. Enjoy a piece of cake for me.
I was thinking today how I wanted to be a working writer when I grew up. I didn't realize at the time I would have to become a working salesman to maintain a career. But that is the reality of today's market. Some people are constantly promoting themselves and their books. They shake hands and press business cards and mention their work to everyone every time they get a chance. Me, I like to model my selling technique after insurance sales. The best insurance sales people know their community. They know their neighbors. They let their neighbors know that they sell insurance, but mostly they build a community and care about the people in it. The idea being that people will come to them with their insurance needs because they trust them.
I've had people say- yes, you have so many friends and followers but how does that translate into sales? For me, it translate into building community and if sales come from that then all the better.
As a reader do you prefer hard sell or soft? Does it matter at all? Or do you only read the books whose covers catch your eye or who a friend recommends? Is author as salesman only there to impress our publishers? Or does it make a difference to you the reader?
Monday, March 21, 2011
Happy Monday, how was your weekend? I was able to get a new fridge and our frozen foods were saved. It is amazing how much money you have in condiments and such that you just expect to keep in your fridge for when you cook. Things like mayonnaise, and salad dressings, sour cream, etc. All that has to be replaced. But at least now we have a new appliance and a properly repaired appliance. We'll see what this week brings. The last words my daughter said to me as she left the house to go back to school were-"Mom, your dryer isn't working." :0
Since the dryer is two years old I'm hoping cleaning out the lint trap will do the trick. A good friend suggested unplugging the dryer from the lint trap, duct taping the leaf blower to it and blowing all the gunk out. Brilliant, right?
It is always an adventure at my house.
So, how is your week going?
Friday, March 18, 2011
When it rains, it pours. That is an old saying meaning that sometimes everything happens at once. We fixed the oven and the refrigerator went out. I'm not kidding. The fridge is not something I can fix. So I'm off today to spend the money we would have spent on a stove to buy a new fridge. If the dishwasher goes, then I'll do dishes by hand. But our food is spoiling and I need to go out and purchase a working fridge as soon as I can. At least the freezer is still working. There is always a sliver lining.
I hope you have a good weekend. That spring comes to your house and sunshine falls lightly on your skin. Cheers~
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I'm listening to birds. It is so awesome when they come back. I've heard a crane, geese, a kildeer, redwinged blackbird, robin, cardinal, grackle and chickadee. It's a regular chorus out there. So different than the deep quiet of a snowy winter day. The sun is out and my windows are open, but there is still snow. The lake is still ice covered but the edges are water now, leaving the white ice to float in the center. The weeping willow trees are bright yellow. You can see that the sap has risen in the branches and the buds are coming out.
My heat just kicked in, so I should go close the windows. For a moment it was fun to pretend.
Tell me about the weather where you are. Do you have flowers yet? Or, for those of you south of the equator any signs of Fall?
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Oh, the Ides of March, plus a crazy full moon. It is going to be an interesting week. I could not get my head in the game yesterday with the time change. I'm not even sure my blog made sense. I hope you all are not experiencing this same trouble.
Lately, I've been having a time with all things electrical. Do you have a days when every light bulb you turn on pops? That happened the day the oven went out. It simply wouldn't heat. Now, I do have a background in repair work-fixed the DVR when I found a shorted wire. So, instead of calling a repair man who charges $100 just to come look at the oven I did a little research. (Yay for google how-to.) I ordered a new igniter switch for the oven. It came in yesterday. When we opened up the baking shield we discovered the unthinkable. Someone had replaced the igniter switch before, but instead of opening the back of the oven and plugging the wires into the sockets, they had spliced the wires to the old plugs. These spliced wires burned up. Everything was charred and one side was separated. Thus the igniter not working. Crazy. The oven could have started on fire at any time. *shakes head* We were lucky. We replaced the switch with the new one and plugged it in properly. The oven works. But it makes me wonder what else in the house is rigged. Time will tell.
Do you have horror stories like this?
Monday, March 14, 2011
So am running behind today, because I'm not used to the time change. Some people love the time change, but I wish they would stick to one time or the other. They keep making "standard" time shorter and shorter- why not get rid of it all together?
I say, we start a movement to keep to one time or the other. Studies have proven that heart attacks happen over time change, etc. It's not good for our health...so, stop. Who is in charge of these things?
That's my rant. LOL.
How about you? Do you love time change or hate it?
Friday, March 11, 2011
First off, I need to say that I'm sending out prayers to those who are suffering from the giant earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami. The earth is rumbling around, isn't it? There was an article about the fact that on March 19th the moon will be the closest it has ever been to the earth in it's orbit and it will be a beautiful full moon. So go out and get a lovely look. That article also stated the author's worry about the effects of the moon's pull on the earth, but I read somewhere years ago that the moon was closer to the earth in the past and has been slowly moving away. Therefore if damage was to be done, it would have already happened, right?
I don't get into politics here, but someone said to me yesterday that the world, including our country, with all it's unrest, earthquakes, animals dying, etc. seems to be in big trouble. The truth is that the world has always been filled with unrest, earthquakes, mass extinctions, etc. But today we get the news instantly and with much drama to drive up ratings. What we once would have never heard about, or heard about days or weeks later is now a second away.
The answer to all this trouble? Living in the moment. This moment, right now, today. Making the right choices for this moment, right now, today. Right now, I'm sitting in the sunshine watching the snow melt. Today I will make small choices that will help my writing career-like writing at least 100 words. I will drink water, eat fruits and veggies, and I will go for a long walk. Small choices in my moments to live the creative life I want. Small choices don't dismiss or ignore the big problems of the world, but they prevent you from being overwhelmed by it all.
Have a great weekend my friends. Be safe~
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Maintenance guy has come and gone and little dog and I are settled back into our usual work routine. I love routine because my brain is always half in a story and I get lost stumbling around in the real world without some sort of structure. Don't get me wrong it can be fun to take a day or two and float around, but I prefer structure.
As for little dog- she is tummy sick today. Perhaps from the grout fumes, more likely from all the cookies she ate yesterday as I tried to keep her quiet. Yes, I spoil everyone rotten.
So, how is your writing going? What are you reading?
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
If you are a work at home person, do you find yourself in charge of maintenance and maintenance men? That is me, today. We are having our kitchen floor re-grouted and I'm up early waiting for them to come in. Of course when they called to remind me of the appointment, I didn't pick up the phone. Then the message said not to use my shower. Which made me laugh- um, you're doing my floor guys. I hope they show up prepared to do the floor since there is no tile in my shower.
I think it's going to be an interesting day. I'd love to hear about yours. Cheers~
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I've pretty much had my head in my work. Which can be a good thing and a bad thing. I write three or four books a year. Twenty percent get published. I do my best to promote the books that do get published, but mostly I work on the next book. Recently, I've noted that people with Kindles are choosing only one of the two e-books I have out. Since it was"in my opinion" the least attractive of the two books, I thought I'd go find out why they are choosing that book. Turns out- the other- more attractive book is not on Kindle. Huh. So I started a campaign to have my readers ask for the book on Kindle. Then I went to my publisher with a simple question- why is my second e-book not on Kindle? The answer- it was an oversight on their part. Sigh.
The book has been available for over a year and never on Amazon e-books. *Head meet desk.* All my promo, reviews, etc and it took me a year to ask my publisher why. I assumed they would do it without my intervention- as they did the first book.
Sigh. Sometimes you just have to laugh at the craziness of it all. Oh, and keep an eye out for DREAM MAN arriving to Amazon Kindle sometime soon. Cheers~
Monday, March 7, 2011
I'm thinking about blogs. As you know I have two, this little daily diary and then a once a week writers blog that offers craft topics and book reviews. I am unable to get to visit my friends' blog as much as I would like these days- what with writing, revising and Master's work-plus, well, life. It makes me wonder what the value is in blogs. Some peoples' blogs really take off. Some people gain fans with their blogs and always seem to have something witty and viral worthy to say-what I mean by viral is people will talk about it- tweet it- facebook it, etc. I wish I were one of those people. I think it can really move your career along. Sort of like a nationally syndicated columnist. People go everyday to read your words and talk about them. So there is no denying that blogs work, but the question is, do they work for everyone?
Do you feel your blog is working for you? What sort of information gets the most reaction? What are your favorite blogs to visit?
Friday, March 4, 2011
Yesterday I finished judging a local contest. I was reading paranormal romance stories. It brought me back-many, many long years ago to when I first began to write novels. It's not that the work was really bad, as much as the writers have so much to learn. One work in particular read as if it were written my a high school student. Perhaps it was. There was a wonderful naive concept of love and romance. As a somewhat older woman, don't laugh, it struck me as creepy stalker love. But I can remember the young girl in me and she might have thought it was beautiful, prince charming stuff...sigh. Funny how our view of life changes as we grow older. They say really good writers have some life experience on them. Meanwhile there are phenoms who get published at 17.
The truth is that long lasting careers are built by people with life experience. It shows in the writing and creates more nuance, texture, grit.
I wrote my first book when I was twenty. Someone told me to forget it. No one buys a book from anyone until they are 40. Ha- well, there are always people who will be eager to tell you you can't do something. What they mean is they believe they can't do something.
I digress. My point being that writers grow into their craft-even after they publish. So keep writing. Keep growing. Have a great weekend. Cheers~
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I have sent my revisions off and now I wait to see what happens next with the book. It is typical to go back and forth a few times both with your agent and then with the editor. The idea is to use the team to create the best book possible.
How are things in your world?
I'm working on judging contests and doing school stuff. I think a couple of weeks off would be a dream. But this is life. So, I try to take a few mini breaks every week.
What do you do to stay sane?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I'm listening to the birds who have returned early to claim their territory. There are robins and now red-winged blackbirds that sit and sing. Flocks of geese fly overhead, going back to their northern summer homes. They don't stop because the lake is still frozen. The tree buds are growing bigger. Yesterday, little dog found a patch of earth without snow that was warmed by the sun enough she could dig around and get muddy. Heaven for little dogs. 19 Days until Spring or Fall for those of you on the other side of the world. Cheers~
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit - as a dear friend is fond of saying at the start of every month. It is supposed to bring good luck. So far for us, March has come in like a lamb. We have sunshine and may even get above freezing here. March is the month of Spring Break. I think I could use one. But often times we can't afford a break. There is too much life going on. So I recommend that you take a ten minute spring break. Buy some coconut scented sunscreen and rub it on your hands and face. Put on sunglasses and play the beach boys loud on your MP3 player and sit in the window sunlight or in a sunny part of your deck shielded from the cold and for ten minutes enjoy the hope that is Spring. Cheers~