Weekend for spending time with family

What a great summer weekend! Jim and I spent Saturday together at a local Raspberry Festival and my dad and I spent some time together at an air show being hosted at a local airport on Sunday.

It was a nice weekend. I enjoyed just being at these events and in the moment with the ones I love. It was a nice break from all of the stresses with work and writing right now.

As I worked on my book marketing this week, I came up with some ideas for a flyer. I am finding the need for one not only to post in places, but to be a part of a press packet for The Hard Way and other books in the series once they are published. As I thought about it more, it would be a nice item to have when I am giving copies of books to libraries, schools or reviewers. A little something including a blurb about the book, a little bit about me, and where to buy additional copies.  They would be left with something to refer to later or to hand off to someone else. That will definitely be worked on in the writing house this week.

A few more of my book marketing cards went out with personal notes to family, friends and contacts last week. It doesn’t cost much to do it, and I get to send a personal note to keep in touch with people I care about. I already have one sale and a Facebook post from doing it. I am so honored that my friends and family want to help me promote my book. I’ll be sending another batch this week.

Here is a fun quote from Dr. Seuss about books.

So, if you are looking for a book, be sure to check out The Hard Way. Here is the link to it!

It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Keep an eye out for next week’s post. I am planning for a book review. Not sure what book it will be yet. Making that selection tomorrow. Have a great week!

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Hope every one is able to celebrate our country’s independence this weekend. That is what the 4th is all about. I think the meanings of holidays are sometimes lost in all of the festivities. Also, be sure to find sometime with your family. It is important to make time for them. I’ve been finding that out a lot lately through my struggle with the work life balance.

What a different weekend this is. When the 4th of July winds up on a Tuesday, it extends the weekend. Good for family time, a little crazy for the work schedule. Wind up having to take a vacation day to get the extended weekend.

I am still struggling to find time to promote The Hard Way. It has been difficult for me to make time for my projects lately. Part of the problem is work, but I believe part of it is me. Work has made a lot of demands for my time and energy while the home life continues to be busy. But, I like to take on the challenges at work and work hard to make things happen.

If I could work as hard as I do for others to get their stuff done on my own projects, I know I would be successful. My constantly putting everyone else’s priorities first, makes it feel like my goals are so far off. I am so thankful my fiancee helped me to make my first book get published. He said it needed to be done and I needed to do something for me.

A work and life balance is a hard thing to strike, especially in the age of cell phones and the internet. You can pretty much get in touch with anyone at any time via either the phone or social media. However, thanks to the internet and modern technology, I am able to be up north with my family for this 4th of July. Otherwise I would be at home working this weekend.

I don’t want to be whining about where I am at. There are a lot of good things going on for me. But striving for a balance between work and home has been way lopsided towards the work side lately. And it has been affecting not only me, but my family as well. So, I am glad that I get to be at the cabin with my family this weekend, but I am going to have to work on my own priorities more important and make more time for my projects and my family.

Speaking of family, have any middle grade readers looking for a good read? How about checking out the link to my book! (Come on, you knew that was coming!)

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the link! The Hard Way

I like readers

It is one thing to write the book. But it is the reader who breathes the life into it. They give us their time to experience the story we spent many hours to create.

As a reader myself, I enjoy the experience of reading a food book. I love being able to go on the adventure the author created, see the places they created and meet the charcters telling the story.

As writers, don’t we imagine an endless number of readers loving our book? One of my dreams was to write and publish a novel, but the other dream was for many middle grade readers to read it and gain bits of advice to help them navigate the ups and downs of growing up.

While I was writing it, I had to remember this one thing, I was ultimately writing for myself. Couldn’t bank on having the dream of hitting the best seller list just out of the gate. Ultimately, I hope my story is one a reader can relate to and enjoy. If I sell a million copies, that would be great, but having it read by those middle grade readers means more to me than the money. Here is the link, in case you want to check it out for that middle grade reader you know.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

Here is the link! The Hard Way

Happy Mother’s Day 2017

Happy Mother’s Day!

If you follow me on Facebook, you saw a post that I did in memory of my mom. She passed away nine years ago from breast cancer. Ever since then, Mother’s Day has been a different day than what Hallmark will portray on TV.

When I think about it, each Mother’s Day since then has been a different day for me. The first couple of years, I participated in the Susan B Koman Race for the Cure 5K walk in memory of her. My mom was a private person and didn’t advertise she had the disease. I see the survivors out there and feel the electricity and comradery of people who are dealing with the disease, either as a survivor or as a family member in the support role. It is very inspiring, but for me it was also a big reminder that it is the reason why she is gone.

And other years, I just go about what a normal Sunday would look like. Errands, projects, relaxing, and getting ready for Monday. But she always comes to mind and I feel a little pang in my heart. It is Mother’s Day and I don’t get to have the day with my mom, the way that others do. A friend of mine posted on Facebook yesterday that she was thinking of the women without mom’s on Mother’s Day. She said she was going to give her mom and extra hug, knowing how lucky she is to have her here with her. That made me smile. If your mom is with you in your life, appreciate it. Things really do change once they are gone. Not just for Mother’s Day, but for many other events that a daughter needs her mom for.

So, what do I do? Every year since she passed away, I buy a single rose. The tradition started when I would pick up a pink rose from a local flower shop after completing Race for the Cure. Then I make a trip to the cemetery (about a mile from my house) and spend some time just sitting there with her. It is a little different Hallmark moment than I imagined it would be. But, it is my Mother’s Day.

My mom loved to garden. The featured picture for this post is not a rose, but lilacs. We had two big bushes in our back yard growing up. In the spring, my mom always had bunches of them in the house. I love that scent. When they start blooming in the spring, it reminds me of my childhood home and my mom. It is one of the many good things about being with her that I hang onto in my heart. And it makes me smile.

Just Days Remaining – Countdown to Book Launch – The Hard Way

6 days to go! Less than a week!

I feel like a kid the week before Christmas. Seeing all of the trees, lights and gift displays. I am so close to my dream coming true. When I write next week’s post, I will be a self- published author and have made one of my childhood dreams come true.

It has been a journey. One of hard work and some tears. I respect any author who goes through the process of writing and publishing a book. I’ve had a lot of help and support along the way, from my family and friends to members of Facebook groups, which makes accomplishing this goal mean even more to me. 

What did I get done this weekend?

For my paperback version, I assigned an ISBN number to it.

I set up my CreateSpace account and started uploading my cover and my manuscript. It was really fun to see it all in the close to final format. My editor did the formatting for me, but said sometimes the upload process can change things a bit. I’m glad that she told me, otherwise I might have become frustrated when it didn’t look just right the first time. We will have some minor tweaking to do to the spacing before we publish next weekend.

What is left to do this week?

After we do some additional formatting to the manuscript, I will upload it again and get it ready for the Saturday launch. Since I have been working on getting the e-book and paperback version ready to go, I may be publishing both versions on Saturday. I was originally planning to publish the e-book now and the paperback in a couple of months. After seeing that the processes are pretty much the same for both, as long as we get the reformatting done, they both may be ready to go live at the same time.

Going to the bank today and setting up a new checking account. This is where I’ll have  the royalties from my book go to and hopefully be able to pay expenses out of someday. I didn’t write this book to make a bunch of money. I wrote it because I have a passion for writing. But, if I can make some money, it would be icing on the cake.

Writing and publishing a book is a process with many steps. I know the process for my next one will be easier having done this one. In next week’s post, I’ll be sharing links with you on how to get a hold of a copy of The Hard Way.

Writing and Walking the Dog

Happy Monday!

I’ve noticed that whenever I take our dog Maddie for a walk, it seems to be a different experience every time, even when we are taking the same route.

Dogs can definitely be creatures of habit. Stopping by the same trees or bushes sniffing for those perfect scents. Or, they can have their attention caught by something new and start leading you down a different path than you normally go, if you let them. Even though Maddie and I have three standard routes we take for walks from our house, sometimes I’ll take a different turn to check out something new. Or, I notice the path is pretty icy and we need to take a different way.

I’ve read that dogs have some of the same life patterns as wolves. They wake up, need to hunt (walk), eat, and then sleep and the cycle starts over again. Through Maddie, I have seen this to be quite true. Add in some of the human elements, like playing with toys, riding in the car, shopping at the pet stores, and hanging out with us, and we have created the life of a domesticated dog.

When I moved out of my parents house and into a place where I could have a dog, I was excited. Not only because I wanted one since I was a little girl, but I would have another reason to get out of the house and enjoy the outside world. I was lucky to find a dog who loves to be outside. It benefits us both. She gets to explore the outside world and I get to see things I wouldn’t normally see and she has sniffed out. And the best part for me, I get share being outside with one of my best friends!

It is nice that we get a couple of these adventures on a daily basis. Our walks give me the quiet time I sometimes need to clear my mind and work through some writer’s block. Do you think Maddie knows when I am having a tough time with my writing and need to make time for a walk? Sometimes I think she does. At other times, when I am in a writing groove and things are going great, and she needs to go outside, I think it is more about her needing some attention from me.

We had temperatures of fifty and sixty this past weekend. For those of us in Minnesota this is definitely not a normal thing for February. It is making me look forward to spring when the weather is nicer for our walks. It is still a ways off, but this weekend helped to perk my winter blahs mood up just a bit.