Friday, October 26, 2018

Flashback Friday: Memorable October!

Oct 2008:
My son was diagnosed with allergies.
My sister came home with her two small children and we threw our parents a 45th anniversary party.  The cousins enjoyed getting to know each other, and family pictures were taken.  I also renewed a friendship with a childhood friend.

Halloween, my older kids took their brother to the 'Safe Trick-or-Treating', and afterward, he discovered he enjoyed handing out the candy.  So much so, he decided to go down to the corner and hand out Nestle Crunch Bars to anyone who would take them!

The next night, I went around the neighborhood with him and had a good time, then his siblings took him down Hart St and collected goodies from the businesses.

On the creative front, I set up at the Fall Festival and at the Blue Moon Gallery.  I also found out a local man was thinking about starting a publishing company and was veeerrry interested in my Arbor U series.  I was excited by the news!

Next Month:  Thanksgiving!

Present Day:
I've been in Lafayette all week, helping my parents deep clean the house.  Leaving today, since I have to be in Evansville tomorrow for a craft fair.

Our hearts have been heavy this week, since on Monday, my former SCP authors learned that one of our own, Tamara Hoffa, had been in a fatal car accident.  Her funeral is today in Tennessee, which I was fervently hoping it would be held next week.  I'm only two hours away, but since I'm traveling, it is impossible.  So hearts, prayers, and thoughts go out to Tamara's family.  I loved her Bear Shifter stories, and might take some time to reread them next week.

Still Undecided About My Costume....
I kinda want to go as Little Red Riding Hood, but not sure if I have the right accessories.  If I can't get to the store to find a red cape, then I'll either pull out the pirate costume or go as Molly Pitcher.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Flashback Friday: Sonic Boom!

Oct 1998:
D's relatives arrived for the pre-arranged weekend, and we had an enjoyable visit.  They had brought their camper, so their kids and mine spent the night in the back yard.  The next day was our planned picnic, and the boys decided to start a bonfire.

One problem:  It refused to light.

D had just come in, laughing at their problem-solving skills, when all of a sudden, there was a loud


We four adults ran outside and discovered the oldest boy had dumped Coleman lantern fuel over the wood, then tossed a match into it!

He got his butt chewed for a few moments, for possibly endangering everyone's lives and nearly setting the woods on fire, but after the adrenaline rush, we laughed about it!

Halloween that year was different:  One of the neighbors loaded most of the kids into the wagon behind his lawnmower and took the kids all over the neighborhood:)  I don't remember if S was Queen Amidala or Barbie that year.

Next Month:  Thanksgiving!

Present Day:
Happy 55th Wedding Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Also, tomorrow is the launch of Whispers!

There's one slight hiccup to our launch party/Open Mic Night:  No confirmation of books shipped, which means.....a launch party w/o books.  Oops....

I still think it will be okay.  All we have to do is explain the snafu about Amazon delayed shipping; we'll have our proof copies to display and read snippets from; hopefully enough people will be willing to share their own works.

If nothing else, just some comradarie and some delicious cupcakes and finger food!

I have two short stories in this antho:

Badass Fairies of the Wabash:
Trouble is brewing along the Wabash River.  A young fairy who’s recently released from Solitude, is rebelling against her new duties in the Three Bridges area.  When the High Council intervenes, will things improve?
Spirit Pottery:
Ciera is convinced her apartment is haunted by the ghost of her ex-boyfriend.  When she consults a medium, she is shocked to learn she has ghosts in her pottery studio as well.
Trevor is more than willing to help Ciera come to grips with her past.  Can he put his attraction aside to help an angry ghost with his unfinished business?
Have a fun weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Flashback Friday Catch Up

Oct 1978:
My Uncle Bill (my favorite uncle) arrived for visit:)

Cathy C made my choir dress....mauve with 'chilly shoulders', ruffled flowered around bodice. There was some confusion over how to wear it; some girls arrived at the concert with their arms through the straps, instead of just around their shoulders.

My sister celebrated her 8th birthday with Campbells, Mcintire clan, including Michelle and Aunt Linda.

I have no idea what I went as for Halloween that year....

Next Month:  Thanksgiving!

My Thursday night Astronomy class was fun!  For years, I'd not understood the blurred voices of the astronauts as The Eagle touched down on the moon, and my teacher cleared it up for me:

"Tranquility Base here....The Eagle has landed!"
(I'd heard it as 'ingoldy base here....' yeah, I guess I've always had a hearing problem??)

Anyway, Saturn was close enough to be seen through a telescope, so our professor took us upstairs so we could view it.  I think I amused him, because when it was my turn, I saw a white dot with Mickey Mouse ears, which drew laughs.  He later revealed it had been knocked out of focus, but I wasn't able to view it any clearer.  Still, I can say I saw it!

Our dorm decided to offer trick-or-treating, so I put on my 'southern belle' outfit, and Erica dressed in her 'old-fashioned girl' look.  The girls across the hall decided to be the Tin Man and his Oil Can, so E changed her look to 'Dorothy', which made me Glinda the Good Witch:)  'Toto' was one of our stuffed dogs!

Next Month:  Working Thanksgiving

Present Day:  
We're getting closer to the Whispers Launch Party!  I've spent this week recuperating from a busy Imaginarium weekend.  My ankle/Achilles tendon bothered me all weekend, but Monday I stayed off my feet, and Tuesday I could walk semi-normally again.  WTH???  Wednesday, I had twinges of pain, and I think I'm gonna have to buy new tennis shoes next week.  I go see the Ortho doctor next Friday, so maybe that threat is shaping my feet up?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Imaginarium 2018

Reminder of what I said last year:
"Might try the one hour thing again, since I'll be an official Stardust author, and if B and N want to get a table again, I'll not do so many panels, so I can be behind the table.  Which means seriously cutting back on craft fairs, except for local ones.  Or maybe not; it's a double-edge sword:  Make money or keep having to order inventory?  Check back with me on this later."

Did I Follow My Own Advice?
Sort of.  You be the judge.

I decided to take my Teen with me, since he's into gaming now (Magic The Gathering, World of Warc, Minecraft), and we left around 10:30am.  Grabbed lunch at the Arby's off I-64, then headed to Louisville.  Arrived, checked in.

Hiccup #1:
There's a work cart in our room, plus the bathtub faucets are completely dismantled.  Phone in room doesn't have the same room # (2113), and not working.  I called the front desk, who said they would call maintenance.

No sooner than I hung up did Maintenance knock on the door and express surprise.  They crew spoke broken English, and front desk called them thirty seconds later.  We all trooped downstairs (luggage and all!) and went to the lobby, where Teen and I were issued a new room.  Right across from where we were, 2114.  Luggage could have stayed upstairs...and did I mention I'm still limping from an 'irritated' Achilles tendon?  And the elevators are waaaaaaay at the back of this hotel.

Yeah.....poor planning on that one.

Anyway, W and I unpacked, then drove to the convention center and unloaded my stuff.

Hiccup #2:
I'd forgotten my money bag with my Square.

Brian Morris, my tablemate, said I could use his.  Problem solved.

Hiccup #3:
I decided to attend a 'How to Sell Books At Conventions' workshop.  For whatever reason, I had this in mind to be a 'which conventions would be optimal'....uh, no.  It was on How To Present Yourself....everything I'd already know.  Have your 'elevator pitch', smile, be positive, etc.  The only part I disagreed with was about bringing all your titles.  What happens if I bring only the Women's Fiction and everyone is looking for Romance?  Or vice versa?  This way I cover all bases.

I walked around and took pictures, and briefly chatted with a few.  Did my 1st slot of Prime Author Signing and sold one book:)  W and I ate dinner at the pizza buffet, and since the convention had arranged for food trucks, this took the pressure off the restaurant.  Ate 3 slices of pizza and two salads.  Went upstairs and watched Survivor, New Amsterdam, and TBBT, took a shower, and went to bed.

W refused to wake up, so left him some $$ and went down to breakfast, then over to the convention, so I could sit in on the 'Marketing 101'' panel, suggested by my friend CP.

Hiccup #4:
Found this informative, though I already knew most of it.

Discovered Frank Hall had arrived, and wanted to show him the sneak peek of my time-travel story.

Hiccup #5:  Where Was It?
Not at the table; not in one of the totes.  I'd not left it in the truck....but remembered the last time I'd seen it was Friday night at the was against the wall, where someone had graciously placed it:)

Sat for my 2nd slot of Prime Author Signing and it was Baby Row.  LS had her two week old; LP had her 9 month 14 y/o showed up, lol!  LS sold a few; LP sold one.  Me?  Nada.

Game of Thrones Panel:
Enjoyed this one!  I was able to contribute to the discussion and it fueled my desire to read the rest of the books AND watch Season 6 in full (I've only seen 2 episodes!)

#3 Prime Author slot followed, and while I didn't sell any, my cover artist received an amazing compliment from a professional photographer!  He was comparing CJ's covers to mine and said mine were more 'professional' looking, and it made him want to pick up the book to look at it further!  I sent off a message to Dawne, who was thrilled!

Lunch was a delicious crepe from the Sweet-n-Savory truck, chicken and goat cheese:)  W had the chicken BLT.  Afterward, he went back to the motel and swam.

Advice To New Writers
This panel was fun.  We had several guests ask questions, and we were able to provide a lot of good information.

Crowdfunding For Creatives
This one was definitely informative!  I may actually look into doing this.

After the expo hall closed, W and I followed CP to Cracker Barrel and had a delicious, relaxing meal.

Hiccup #6 and #7
My teen took his sweet time returning to the truck.  C had just decided to go on and get the table when he finally showed up!

After dinner, W returned to the pool and I watched my Thursday night comedies online.  Around 11pm, W asks for a candy bar, and my wallet turns up missing.

Panic.  Did it fall out in the suitcase?  No.  Did it fall out in the truck?  No.  Had it fallen out while hiking back to the room?  I went to the front desk.  No one had turned one in.

We returned to the convention center, for we HAD made a lap around the game room and I HAD taken a picture of the steampunk costumed lady.  It wasn't under a chair when we checked it earlier.  As we're walking in, a lady was coming out.  W asked if she knew anything about a missing wallet, and the reply was that yes, one had been found.  I quickly found Holly, who said Robyn had it, but she'd gone to bed.  David said he knew where R had put it, and went to get it.  My wallet was found, with everything still in it!  I thanked God and everyone!!!

W got his candy, and I went to bed.

Decided to pop into 'Frugal Conventioning'.

Hiccup #8
Again, for whatever reason, I thought this was going to be more about how to do Cons on a shoestring budget, and it turned out to be common sense stuff:  Share a table/room.  Watch VistaPrint for sales.  Stick to your Con budget.  Yeah....stuff I already knew.

I went to my table and talked with BKM, plus walked around to take more pictures.

Importance of Networking
This panel was also fun, plus I was able to reconnect with an author I'd not seen since last April:)

MailChimp 101
I'd begged Holly to get someone to present a step-by-step tutorial of how to set up a newsletter on this site, so I was eagerly anticipating it.

Hiccup #9
Was deeply disappointed when it turned into 'why you need a newsletter' and 'what content to provide'.  'What site to set it up (MailChimp, MailerLite, etc)' and 'where to promote your newsletter'/  I wanted to cry.....I could have spent that hour at my table!

Blog Tour Strategies
Another fun panel, plus had some great advice from a guest!  Who knew the guests could teach a panelist something?  LOL!

At 4:30, everyone was packing up.  Said goodbye to new friends and old, and resolved to stick to my strategy next year!

Ate dinner at Fazolli's, then hit the highway.

Hiccup #10
Got stuck in traffic, due to bad accident on the bridge over the Ohio River.  Semi vs car.....pretty sure the car lost.  I shut off the truck to conserve gas....we were stopped for 45 mins.

In New Albany, I pulled into McDs for a sweet tea and W promptly asks for chicken mcnuggets.  I changed it to a #6 combo, and he let me eat 4 or 5 nuggets.

What Will I Do Differently Next Year?
-Leave Teen at home (unless the YouTube panel/workshop will be presented.
-Double-check panel descriptions and ONLY ATTEND MY PANELS!!!
-Try to fund a full table ($110) and leave my display racks at home.
-Spend more time at my table!

Check back next year to see if I actually follow through on this?

Monday, October 1, 2018

Oct 2018

Is it just me, or did September drag?  Of course, I spent so much time running back and forth to it any wonder I don't know if I'm coming or going?

So What DID I Do Last Month?
-Do well at ISU-Con Day #2:  Sold 2; Day #3:  Sold 2; Total:  8  Tied my InConJunction total:)
-Do well at 1st Friday  Ugh.....rain out.  Did hand out 9 copies of the 'sneak peek' and found out a woman had TP on her kindle, but hadn't read it yet!  YAY!
-Do well at Eminence Harvest Fest  Sold 4:)
-Do well at Vandeburgh Craft Fair  Sold 9:)  7 Sat, 2 Sun.  Reversal of last year, lol!
-Successfully move all books to KDP  Check:)
-Have a successful launch of Whispers  Oct 20th
-Finish cleaning out Green House  Not yet
-Finish cleaning out front room and DRM of Brown House  Getting closer...
-Resume clearing out magazines in Brown House  Check:)
-Order more AU inventory  Check:)

Neck Update:  Continuing to improve:)

Ankle/Achilles Tendon:  Apparently, when I chose to walk to my CHRP meeting, then walk home from choir practice on 9/12, I strained my achilles tendon area.  This area has bothered me off and on throughout the summer, but normally I can walk out the stiffness.  Not on the 15th....I limped all over Eminence school during the Harvest Fest.  Mom's friend Marian, who's a former sports trainer, told me to do some exercises, which have helped.  However, I've discovered the problem MAY be connected to my tennis shoes.....the temps turned cooler, so I wore my riding boots all weekend, with no limping, and a little discomfort.  Barefoot doesn't seem to bother it.  But my year-old tennies....well, it might mean I need another pair!  More on this later.

Books Sold:  17, as compared to last year's 24.  But in all fairness, I only sold 4 at EHF, as compared to last year's 9.

Books Read:  7
            Print:  5
        E-Book:  2

Karaoke Songs Added:  14
                            Thurs:  4
                                 Sat:  10

October Goals:
-Mail HS to customers (check!) and TP to Harlie
-Enjoy Imaginarium!  Didn't sell any books last year, so no expectations other than to do well on my panels and enjoy catching up with friends!  Last year, our goal was to expose Brooke and Nancy to everyone....Nancy sold one book and Brooke was picked up by a publisher:) Sold 1, but had a great time seeing everyone!
-Take more things to auction from Brown House
-Finish cleaning out Brown House front room and re-organizing front bedroom
-Finish cleaning out Green House
-Have successful launch of Whispers Had 8 others show up for our Open Mic/Launch Party, but books never arrived from Amazon.  Still, a good night was had by all:)
-Do well at Collections Carnivals Craft Fair on the 27th Sold 7:)
-Have enjoyable time with Ghost Hunters  Postponed til after the first of the year.
-Send Suzanne check for ICTAH show Check:)
-Buy Whispers inventory Buying on consignment until more $$ comes in!
-Buy WHH inventory
-Decide on cover art (check!) and pay for it (Catered Romance)
-Decide on costume for Halloween Going as Little Red Riding Hood :)

October Reading Schedule:
Wired-Julie Garwood  Very good!
Skip Quincy, Shortstop-Jean Joachim  DRR!  Loved this!
Will Grant, Center Field-JJ  DRR!  Loved this one also!!!
House Sitter's Christmas-JJ  DRR!  A wonderful short, sweet story!
Conversations with Caris-George Kramer  Cute collection!  Just wish the formatting would have been better.  Looking forward to Caris the Teenage Years:)
Cat Magic-Lydia Sherrer DNF

Karaoke Songs:
Wild Wild Life-The Talking Heads There were parts that weren't too bad, but overall....ugh.
Wild Wild West-Escape Club Slightly scratchy, but otherwise good:)  I also now know the words to the spoken part in the middle!!
No One Like You-Scorpions Rocked the bar!
Borderline-Madonna Not too awful; camera batteries died during final chorus.
Will You Be There-Heart  Did well:)
Love The Way You Lie-Rhianna/Eminem Between me, Gary, Richard, and Cooper, we nailed this one!  Was complimented!
No Son of Mine-Genesis  Think it sounded good!

R.O.C.K. in the USA-John Mellencamp Wasn't too bad:)
Radio Gaga-Queen  Did well!
Radioactive-Imagine Dragons????  DNH
Rainbow Connection-Muppets Ended up singing an octave higher....not too bad!
Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head-BJ Thomas Bleh....too low, which is too bad; I love this song!
Rainy Days and Mondays-Carpenters Thought I sang it pretty good:)  Now to see if I can get the vid from my phone to YouTube.....forgot to take the camera.  10/27:  Resang it with the camera on:)
Raise Your Glass-Pink DNH
Ramblin' Man-Allman Bros  Nailed it:)
Rapture-Blondie Did VERY well; surprised the people at my table with my ability to rap, lol!