Sunday, July 28, 2013

The national revival

I spent last week--well, really the week before last week--in Atlanta at the annual Romance Writers of America convention. I hadn't been in several years and there's nothing like surrounding yourself with positive, smiling people to make you realize you need to get your backside in the chair and rev up that writing career.

I was interested in self-publishing workshops and RWA had managed to get some stellar talent to talk to us and share their experiences: Liliana Hart, Barbara Freethy, Gerri Russell, Bella Andre, and execs of Amazon and Smashwords! Wow!

How to take it all in?

I tried. I came back with a checklist of Things To Do and so far, I've done two of them. And that's only out of 6. I've sought advice from other self-published authors about ebook conversions. I believe I can put that under 'expense'. I want a professional job with my efforts. The last thing I want a reader to do is start the review with a complaint about formatting!

As to whether or not the book makes sense, I've had 10 copies made which I'm going to hand to 10 readers I trust with a red pen. I want my feedback now so perhaps those will be starred reviews and not a bunch of asterisks!

And, in keeping with revving the career, I got a rejection on a story I submitted in March to Woman's World. But that's okay. Four months gone means they thought about it, and I have three more out there.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Three things that haven't worked like I wanted them to this summer

How's that for giving away the story in the subject line?

1. Two years ago I saw an advertisement for plant pulleys. Found them, about $10 for a package of two, bought three or four packages. For the most part they've worked exceptionally well and as my front porch is quite high, the pulleys have assured my hanging baskets of a more regular and thorough watering.

So when I went to replace the one or two that gave up the ghost, I couldn't find them in stores. Online, they were available from sellers I didn't know. Price was $5/2 with $5 shipping/package. Stubbornness set in and I refused to pay it. Then, I found them in a catalog, a slightly different presentation, more expensive, but I'd dealt with the catalog before, so I ordered three packages.

Only problem? In the package of two, one is lime green. Whose idea was that?

2. And speaking of lime green, I bought into the $20 lime green flex-able hose packages that are ubiquitous this season. A friend had the black ones and I should have sought them out because of the three hose (hoses?) I bought, two of them have busted. So this morning, I picked up the third as well and carried them all to the trash. Then I reattached the old, thick, heavy hose back to the spigot and hung my head. $60 plus tax, down the drain.

3. Hoping to cater to a better avian clientele, or at least a more varied one, I bought some upscale sunflower seed. There's almonds and safflower seeds and all kinds of goodness in there. Same old clientele, just hungrier and greedier. The stuff must really be good because the sparrows, finches, and cardinals will empty it in a day.

And it's only July.

Monday, July 08, 2013

How could she not know?

We were at a musical production yesterday. It was typically hot and the audience was dressed, for the most part, for the weather. Over the years I've been attending the summer musicals, I've noticed the dress standards decline precipitously, nearing a shorts and tee shirt status for some.

However, most people adhere to some sort of "special day and we paid a LOT for these tickets" frame-of-mind and they are at least dressed better than going to the local Big Box. Maybe not church dress, but then that has declined steeply also, and my rant on that is best left to another post.

But this one young lady yesterday, slim and fashionably dressed, must not own a mirror. I only saw her from the back, her full-skirted white summer dress swaying as she made her way down the incline. But the effect was spoiled because not only did her inch-wide dress straps not cover her bra straps, her dress was cut so low in the back (but not inappropriately), that her bra was clearly visible above it.

Really? It's not like I could go up to her, a la woman-to-woman and whisper "your slip is showing" or anything. It was her bra! And quite a bit of it! Maybe she didn't mind. Maybe her date didn't either.

Maybe I'm just out of style, but if my bra is showing, someone come up and tell me, okay?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

A lifetime of repurposing

I'm still slogging through the family memorabilia, trying to condense the photos and paper odds and ends to manageable piles. Or, at least, to ship it off somewhere else, like to a cousin, my sister, and two old family friends. What happens to it at the other end is no longer my affair.

Amongst the paper items my mother saved were handmade (and not very well, I might add) greeting cards. One was a Christmas card to my dad. I had dutifully written his full name on the outside of the folded manila paper and inside glued a Christmas card. Very pretty. Very 50s. Very a card from someone else.

I had scratched out the sender's name and written my full name, lest Daddy not know this particular daughter Kay from any other daughter Kay.

Repurposing--recycling--being so cheap I wouldn't get a new card from the box of 20 lookalikes--it started before I was ten.