Thursday, October 31, 2013


I've seen lots of blog post titles today about Halloween...and on that subject.. I got nothin'! So, my post is about...Guess what? Writerly things!
I have another idea concerning bookmarks, but I won't post about it this time until it's more than just an idea. ☺

Right now I'm somewhat overwhelmed with all the marketing information that's out there. I've begun to not only "Save" info in my documents, but also print lots of pages. (I'm old-fashioned that way. I need actual paper and print sometimes!) Especially with all this info. I have a 3-ring binder now so I can keep it all in an orderly fashion. 

I shared some of my newly found information on my October 9th blog post, when I wrote about Sandra Beckwith's fantastic site, Build Book Buzz. If you're a writer and haven't signed up yet for her newsletter, you're really missing a lot. 

Speaking of newsletters, I received Publishing Syndicate's newsletter this morning. I've included the link because it has a wonderful interview with Teri Rizvi, founder of Erma Bombeck's Writers' Workshop. The workshop is held every other year, and 2014 is one of THE years! I've promised myself that I'm going to be able to attend this one...

The writing competition (held every year) opens on January 6, 2014, which is my birthday! ... Hmmm, maybe that will be my good luck charm! One of my local writing buddies, Donna Volkenannt won FIRST PLACE earlier this year! (I don't remember if it was in the Humor or Human Interest category, but it was very funny!)     

* Welcome to my newest follower Amanda Bretz. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! *

That's it for now. I'm ending with an inspiring quote...           

"There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, 'Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams.' Then they put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in it, and yep, they're still there. These are great dreams, but they never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, 'How good or how bad am I?' That's where courage comes in.” -- Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

* Books, Bookmarks, & Creativity *

Hello All ~

Below is a picture of a handmade bookmark. 
It's made with yarn of varying shades.
It's about 7 inches long.
And it's supposed to represent a hair braid, or pigtail! 
I'd love to have 50 of these so I could give one away 
with the first 50 of my memoir that I sell. 
But I have a bit of a problem....

I made this one, but I really don't have time to make another 49! 

Would any of my local blog pals like to get together for a bookmark making session?!
I'll provide the yarn and scissors, and a few snacks and non-alcoholic drinks! 
I am 100% serious, so please either leave a comment, or e-mail me with possible dates and times you would be available. 

Please pass the word along because I'll need these soon!


P.S. To those who knew about the tweezers and barrettes promo, I'm putting that on the back burner for the time being. More info on that later....

"I'd never been a collector...until I latched onto bookmarks." -- Lauren Roberts (BiblioBuffet)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

** It's So Good To Be Alive **

Today is one of those amazing, autumn days that just makes me feel alive! Cool and crisp, with sunny, blue skies. Gentle breezes, leaves floating down from tall trees. Vern and I took a long walk; I got re-energized, Vern came home and took a nap! (Sometimes it's the other way around!)

Vern on the daybed in my office/spare bedroom.
He can look right out the window and see what's going on, and nap when he wants, also. 

Happy Fall, y'all! 

"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October." --  Nathaniel Hawthorne

Friday, October 18, 2013

* What's That on My Doorstep?! *

This past Wednesday, October 16th, I received the proof copy of my memoir!

The above photos are examples of the emotions I went through!

I knew there was a very good chance the photo I used on the cover would be too blurry, and it that was a bit of a letdown. (I promise it is NONE of these!) "Blurry" is one thing when it comes to old pictures, but in the case of my cover, I think it just comes across as "another crappy self-published book with an awful cover!" And I certainly don't want that!

BUT, I'm very happy with the interior paper and print quality. So, during the time it takes to reread the entire book, searching for any typos, and various possible errors, I'll find a solution to the cover issue. 

I would love to post the cover today, but I just cannot until it is perfect. The saga continues!

"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." -- Louise Brown

Sunday, October 13, 2013


It's Time Again for Another Nostalgic Sunday

Normally, I'm up 'til midnight or later, but I didn't have a "normal" weekend. I attended a Happy 60th Birthday Party to Us last night and was up really late...or should I say until early this morning. *I'm most likely the oldest one of the group of "high school graduates of 1971 & born in 1953."  My birthday was in January and obviously a few haven't had their 60th birthday yet...but they're not far away!*

It was a small get-together, maybe 60 people. Hey, that would be perfect: 60 people, 60th year! Yikes! Forgive me. I'm really tired!

The best part was that I had been friends with a few of the women since grade school! We had a fantastic time sharing memories, talking about our current lives, and laughing hysterically. Some brought old yearbooks, scrapbooks, school memorabilia, and one put together a photo filled DVD, that was set to the music we grew up with. (I ordered one for myself.)

At first I didn't even remember something we 8th Graders did right before our graduation from grade school. The teachers asked us to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up, and the answers were typed up and given to all of us. I couldn't wait to look at the pages because I had no idea what I'd written. I was such an idealist then and my dreams for the future changed quite often. Some of the students wrote complete sentences, but I wrote two words: a reporter.

Oh my gosh! I remembered! I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. My first "real writing job," although it was for no pay, was writing an opinion column for our local newspaper. And that was just 12 years ago. 

I am living proof that anything is possible. 

That dreams aren't even realized sometimes until later in life. 

And that......"It's never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Marketing Tips for Writers

A few days ago I decided to do additional online searching about book promotion, knowing my time isn't too far away. Although, I have gotten a little ahead of myself, as I tend to do. I guess that isn't too unusual when you're about to give birth to a baby you've been loving and nurturing and keeping inside for.....years!

A nice & neat corner of my desk in 2010
(It never looked like this for more than 15 minutes!
I just wanted to show my cool coffee mug, which has a typewriter on the other side.)

Anyway, I googled: Authors how to contact book clubs. I'd already heard about authors either attending book clubs in person, or via Skype, or by phone, and I wanted to learn as much as I could. What a great way to connect with your readers! I will definitely do as much of this as possible. 

After scrolling down, I came upon Build Book Buzz, a fantastic site! It's the site of Sandra Beckwith, and I love the first sentence on the About/Contact page: Sandra Beckwith is a recovering publicist with more than 25 years of award-winning publicity experience. 

Here are some of the article titles, just to name a few:
Author book signing tips
How to set up Google and Twitter alerts
How to write a tip sheet 
6 surefire ways to promote your novel
~~~~~ plus others ~~~~~

All of these are free and ready to download. Sandra also offers coaching, presentations, and of course has books to sell. I was so impressed, I e-mailed Sandra and told her, and she kindly replied, saying I'd made her day! How sweet is that? 

*So, here's a tip from me. When someone makes a difference in your life, 
no matter how small it may seem at the time, tell them!*

"I love it, the writing process, but I don't have to like it. It's so frustrating. You feel you've written rubbish and you tear up the papers and walk around the room in circles. But it's a love affair. I like getting down there and putting on to paper. I never wanted to write until I was 40 or 50." -- Peter O'Toole

Saturday, October 5, 2013

* My Head's a Spinnin'! *

This past week I've spent most of my time gearing up for the arrival of my memoir. 

(Is it possible for me to reread that sentence too many times?) 

I'm attempting to stay cool, calm, and collected...and not use an inordinate amount of explanation points, but.....Wow! It has been a long journey! I keep envisioning the following scene:
My doorbell rings. Vern gets excited, starts barking, and runs to the front door. When I get there, I turn the knob, open the door....and there stands the UPS guy...with a large box addressed to me and he needs my signature. 

From there the scene has different variations: 

1) If The Ronald is home, we both open the box and stare at the wondrous sight. 
2) If he isn't home, I tell myself I must wait until he gets home, so he can share the moment with me.
3) Then reality hits. I know I'll pull and tear and gnaw at that box like a ravenous beast until it's open.
From that point, I've imagined several scenarios, so when it actually happens, I'll definitely share it.

My blog last Sunday was about doors, keys, and door knobs, and how I find them beautiful and meaningful. The following words by Joseph Campbell are so fitting for today's post, and every time I read them, I swear I get that good kind of way.

“Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.” 

Joseph Campbell

In addition to the usual ways of selling books, I have lots of other marketing plans & ideas in that area, and THAT'S why "my head's a spinnin'!" There are so many helpful sites and blogs online, it can really get overwhelming, but with having a plan, schedules, date books, calendars, etc., I'll be just fine. 

Follow your bliss!