Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Once again, I face a worthy opponent

It's not like I'm a stranger to this. For years, I've been at the mercy/beck'n'call of four-footed creatures. They either act like they own me (the cats and I suppose they do, as in "dogs have masters, cats have staff") or they trample all over my efforts to maintain some sort of decorum in the back yard. Raccoons, possums, squirrels.

And now I face a new conundrum. I know the raccoons are back because the cats' water bowl is periodically tipped over and I have a new photo of them on the game camera. But I'm not sure the raccoons are up to this latest bit of deviltry.

Let me explain.

After losing several patio table umbrellas to high winds/ice, I have finally learned that lesson and keep the current one tied down unless we're under it. Also, I love mandevillas and have three of them spaced around the patio. Two are climbing up torch poles and then to the fence. One I am trying very hard to coax up the arbor piling. To that end, I tied garden twine around the pole and the mandevilla. All was going well until I looked and the twine was gone. And the patio umbrella tie. No evidence of either.

Not on the ground, not blown to the other side of the yard. Hmmm. Now, who would take them? So, I tied twine again and a slight piece of rope I half-hitched around the umbrella. (I knew macrame knotting would eventually come in handy.) Two days later, they were gone.

I can cross several suspects off my list: neither cats, possums, or squirrels are capable of this. Raccoons are dextrous enough, but why? And then a friend suggested that most clever of birds, the crow.

We have crows. I've heard them. I've tied that green elastic garden stuff around the pole and the umbrella this time. Double knotted. And the game camera is aimed at the table.

I'm ready. Bring it on.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

How our minister made her point

Memorial Day, which we all too often tend to forget is not about barbecues and the banks and post office being closed on Monday, was brought home to our congregation this morning by a very moving service at our church.

Our pastor read the Gettysburg Address, then had various members of the congregation read Memorial Day proclamations from Presidents Truman, Johnson, Reagan, and Obama. Then she read the names of the soldiers killed this year. There were about 40 of them. She gave their name, rank, home town and place of duty. As she read each name, a member of the congregation rose and exited. One less person. And then one less. And one less, until all the names were read.

I have at times thought in moments of disaster how many people would be gone from our town. With the last Nepal earthquake pf 8000 dead, that would be 80% of our town. That's shocking. But to see them disappear one by oneā€¦ point taken.

A moving service with a powerful message, listened to by one less person at a time.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Market research

A self-published author's work really only begins once she's written the book, added a cover and formatting, and found the appropriate channels for selling it. Then the work of telling the world (and not just the friends and relatives) begins. Where to market it? How? How much to spend? How do you know if it the expense was worth it?

Actually, I think the answer to the last question is the easy one. Have you cleared expenses (formatting, cover, editing) and made a profit?

That aside, the name of the game is marketing. I've tried various sites at various price points (Fiverr, Free Kindle Books and Tips, Smartbitchestrashybooks, Dear Author to name a few) with up-and-down results. So, on to the next one,

I'll be advertising T's Trial for 99 cents there on Friday, May 22. In the meantime, the Kindle edition is already at 99 cents and will be through Tuesday. So, here's hoping the best marketing can work now: word of mouth.

There is no marketing better than the recommendation of a fellow reader. And for that, I thank you.

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