Quality of Work?

This is a subject that has been rolling around in my head for a while now and I’ve gone back and forth debating with myself over whether I wanted to post about it or not. Are we diluting the quality of our literature with the advent of self-publishing? Yes, I’m actually asking that as a self-published, indie author.

Continue reading “Quality of Work?”

Drenched

It has been raining and storming for nearly 24 hours almost non-stop (still a few hours shy of that, but it’s close and we aren’t anywhere near done yet). Normally, that isn’t that big of a deal but that rain has been coming down in buckets that entire time. Oh, and the storming part. Yeah, that part was super fun to try and sleep through. I couldn’t decide which was worse. The wind sounding like it was going to blow the roof off or the massive claps of thunder that shook the foundation for extended periods of time feeling more like an earthquake than thunder. And it is COLD! I actually had to turn the heat back on. I don’t think I’ve ever done that this late in May.

Between the lack of sleep last night and the night before (thank you lack of grace for giving me achy muscles and a banged up elbow!), I’m struggling to not be grumpy. I can say the positive in all of this is that, fingers and toes crossed, we haven’t seen any leaks. I’m kind of shocked by that. I don’t think that we’ve had a crazy heavy rain like this in the 15 years we’ve been in this house that didn’t give us at least a small leak somewhere. Today, I’m taking the positive where I can and running with it.

Now if I could just find a book to read…

Recital Aftermath

That is one more dance recital in the memory books. As always, I’m left with this lovely mix of feeling glad the chaos is over for a year and sad to see one more year gone. The end of recital night seems to come with lots of talk about plans for next dance season and tons of high energy from all the adrenaline and tears from the older girls that this was their last. This recital drove home for me that BG only has 3 left if she continues to dance through senior year as she plans. In 3 years, she will be one of those girls.

Continue reading “Recital Aftermath”

Recital Bouquets – 2019!

I got them finished and they turned out really pretty. I had done the ribbon inserts last night, so all I had to do today was put them together. There are small things I’m not thrilled with, but I was sort of limited by what I was able to get. Working with the large ball hydrangea blooms also limited my options. Considering BG wanted the two different colors… well, it was an interesting challenge.

When we were looking at the flowers last night, I was really frustrated with the quality of my choices. I finally found the colors I wanted, but the one collection (the peachy hydrangea and the purple/white daisy), there were only two bunches and both had issues. In one, the daisies were perfect, but the hydrangea was a little… anemic looking. The other bunch was kind of the opposite. And… I needed to make two because I was making one for BG’s dance friend. I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to get two really nice ones out of what I got. Thankfully, the blue hydrangeas were sold individually and I had several to choose from, so that helped. So did the fact that everything filled out overnight after I got them out of their packaging and in water.

And yes, I did say the costumes were all various shades of blue, but two of those blues leaned towards the purple end, so that helped. It isn’t a perfect match, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen with these colors anyway and why I always do the ribbon inserts. I think I did okay.

2019 Recital Costumes
2019 Recital Costumes

Now I’m going to chill out until the kids get home and the whirlwind of getting everything packed up, hair and makeup done, then the race to get dinner eaten and us all out the door without losing my mind kicks in. And all of that is just the trial run because we have to do it all over again tomorrow for the recital.

Showtime!

Well, it’s almost showtime. I have to do recital bouquets first, which is what is on my to do list for the day. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a hard time finding flowers for a project. Granted, trying to create a bouquet that reflects this year’s costumes when the costumes all are some form of blue isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world. I went to 3 different places last night before I found flowers that would work and that satisfied BG as I let her pick them out.

Now, to see if I can pull off arranging them in a way that doesn’t make it look like a disjointed mess. You’d think that after all the inspiration the pointe costume gave me this year, that it would be easy. Apparently trying to add in the others is blowing that creative streak.

Sounds of Nature

This image is an old one, but it fits perfectly.

Something we had in all the years before they developed and built behind us was this amazing symphony of sound at night in the spring and summer when the windows were open. There were several little gullies or ditches that frogs liked to gather in and you could hear dozens of them every single night. All of them sounding as if they were hanging out just outside the window, and sometimes actually were as those little suckers love to climb on the house. Besides the frogs you’d get the crickets and the cicadas and all the other nocturnal noisemakers.  Continue reading “Sounds of Nature”

Recital Season

I am knee deep in recital season and my weekends are going to be insane for the next couple of weeks. Today is the last ballet class and 3 rounds of pictures. I’ll be in and out of the studio at least 3 different times today. Next weekend is the big weekend with dress rehearsal and recital. I love this time of year with the gorgeous costumes and the amazing performances. At the same time, I hate how utterly crazy and rushed everything feels. So, I’ll be around, but not so much for the next couple of weekends.

Cranky Pants It Is

*The picture is for those that really don’t want to read the rant. It looks kinda mean and thorny which is how I’m feeling, but it is still on the pretty side so you won’t have to suffer. Much.

I have tried. I really have, but apparently cranky is going to be it for me today. I have a lot of thinking to do on what I’m willing to do and not do with regards to trying to be a part of the indie author community and get exposure for my book.

Continue reading “Cranky Pants It Is”

Iris Bud

Yesterday was… a day. When I wasn’t on the computer, most everything was good. I got some really cool pics and that made me really happy. Getting on the computer and internet… well, that just pricked at my patience and irritated the hell out of me. So much so, I felt like turning this blog into a giant rantfest and changing the name to The Cranky Old Hag. Obviously I didn’t, but the temptation was still very much there because that is pretty much how I felt. Instead I walked away and picked up a book instead, which wasn’t actually that easy and was part of the desire to scream.

So this morning I was faced with the choice. Feed the cranky old hag or do something that made me happy. I’m going with happy. And pretty. So, here is a purple Iris bud for you. Choose happy today.

The Indie Book Club

Pretty sure I’ve complained about how difficult it is to find books by other indie authors. Well, someone got brilliant and created a site that lists books just by indie authors. It’s called The Indie Book Club. It is still very much in its infancy, but it is another resource for both authors and readers of indie books. Lucky, lucky me, they listed me along with about 10 other books for this month.

The site allows visitors to see the most recent books added on the front page, or they can dig deeper into genres to find something specific. I found them on Twitter and managed to snag a spot for this month from a call for submissions, so they do take requests from authors to get their books listed.

Again, the site is still very new and a little basic, but it is a resource that I really haven’t seen before that is just for indie authors. So, if you are an indie author looking for another place to help get your book seen, or you are a reader that wants to help support indie authors, please go check them out.

Oh, and if you are a book blogger, please help them get noticed by sharing this post or writing one of your own. Every tiny bit like that does wonders to help the indie author community.

Cherry Blossom

So yesterday was apparently no exception to the pattern my life seems to be on lately and crazy was the theme. Early in the day, I made a cool connection to help promote my book. Maybe. Fingers still crossed on that and I will have an update when I know more.

Continue reading “Cherry Blossom”

PSA: Do’s And Don’ts Of Supporting Authors

This applies to all authors, traditionally published, indie or any other type that might be out there. It could just as easily apply in the basic context to all kinds of areas, not just authors, but authors and books are my focus for this list. You would think some of these would be common sense things, but, apparently not always, so I thought I’d highlight them.

Do’s: Things You Can Do To Support An Author Or A Book Continue reading “PSA: Do’s And Don’ts Of Supporting Authors”

Something Different: Current Music Obsession

BG and I often have similar music tastes, with a few exceptions. She refuses to listen to most of my older music, unless she can relate it to a meme. I don’t listen to some of her YouTube or game music finds (still have no clue how she finds some of the music she does). The common theme between us is that it is danceable and has an amazing beat.

Continue reading “Something Different: Current Music Obsession”

Not A Fun Discovery

So, I’m all revved to get started on my project. I get everything organized and set up. Get my music going. Sit down with my wires and my stone. Get a few pieces cut and start wrapping when I notice it. My eyes refuse to focus on the fine gauge wires enough for me to be able to count them. I literally cannot see the difference between one wire and the one next to it. They just merge into this kind of shiny blob with faint hints of shadows where the division should be, but I just cannot see the individual wires. It didn’t really matter how close or how far away I was, I just could not get those details into focus enough to work.

That realization just about made me cry.  I have always had really good vision, with the exception of a tiny blip after OC was born where I needed to wear glasses for a couple of years, mostly for driving (was told it was pregnancy related hormones and it corrected itself after MC was born). I have been able to do tiny detail work in all kinds of different areas all my life. Tiny little seed beads. Sewing. Fine details in drawing. Thin thread crochet. All the things you need to be able to see really well to be able to do. Now, I probably can’t do a huge majority of those things. At least not without help.

I’d had to fix a necklace for BG a few weeks back and I had to snag Hubby’s reading glasses to see, but I honestly thought it was just because what I was trying to fix was smaller than what I was used to working with along with my eyes being irritated from allergies and it wasn’t a big deal. Apparently not.

What makes all this even more frustrating is the fact that I had my eyes checked about a year ago and there were no issues at all. I was told that the amount I was off was so small it wouldn’t be worth it to try to get glasses and that was more for distance. There wasn’t even a question of my up close vision.

I am sad and frustrated and angry. Being forced to put this off until I can steal Hubby’s reading glasses again ticks me off. I’m also worried what this means for me being able to do the things I love if I’m not able to see well enough to do them.

Lessons Learned: Week 1 of Being An Indie Author

In the little over a week since I clicked publish on my book, I have learned a lot about being in the indie author community and the overall environment around publishing a book on your own. Or at least, the pieces I have seen or attempted to interact with. Some of those lessons aren’t even things I’ve really learned, but rather things I already knew and got pretty emphatically confirmed.

Continue reading “Lessons Learned: Week 1 of Being An Indie Author”

Maple Leaf Buds

As if I wasn’t busy enough with book release stuff, I have to throw in my normal, every day stuff, too. That seems to have piled up into a mass of phone calls I need to make for appointments, dealing with problems with my web host, work on the design for the kids’ science club t-shirt, work on designing a jewelry piece (the first in VERY long time), and sketching out a list of about 10 other projects on my to do list. All of that was just yesterday and I didn’t even come close to getting it all done so I’m working on the rest of it today.

One Goal Reached!

I didn’t set a lot of goals when I decided to publish my book. The ones I did set were small and, hopefully, achievable. Today, I reached my first one. I am now officially in my local library’s database and An Unexpected Turn can be checked out by anyone in its ebook form! Today is a very good day.

Sweetness And Love Overload

I shared the above image with some friends, over the top excited that I will be holding physical proof of all  my hard work in my hands in just a few days. A couple hours later, one of my friends commented and posted her own tracking image showing her copy will be showing up before mine. I gave her crap for getting a copy before me, just joking and she, quite seriously said that I should get to hold the first copy of my book and she will be leaving hers in the package until I get mine. Cute melting heart. I may complain sometimes, but I really do have some amazing, awesome, beautiful soul friends.

An Unexpected Turn: Availability

In roughly 24 hours after hitting publish, my book is now available on almost every platform I published on. I only have one or two much smaller ones to go, but all of the major platforms has it listed. Don’t forget to rate it and/or leave a review if you decide to check it out!

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback*
Barns & Noble/Nook
Kobo
Apple Books
Scribd
Playster

*The paperback is available for print, but it hasn’t linked up to the Kindle version and also has a glitch in the layout of the description, so I’m waiting to hear back from Amazon about resolving the issue. None of that impacts the fact that it is available and the book itself has no issues. I have several ordered and on their way.

 

Spring Break

My kids are on spring break this week. Normally, this would just be a quiet week with them hanging out, being lazy in their rooms playing games. This year, BG has decided she wants to do things instead. She watched movies with me yesterday, has plans for a friend to come over today and out to do something with another friend tomorrow. All while I’m working on going back and forth with my cover designer. All that just to say… I’m busy right now. Sheesh!!