Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Just wanted to wish you well before I fall into my inevitable carb coma. Also, I want to share a big 'Thank you' to all who posted advice about hosting. This is my first time as a Thanksgiving hostess. So far so good ;) Thanks!

Have a terrific Turkey Day with friends and family~

And if you are running a Turkey Trot - good luck and stay warm!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Shopping This Weekend? Buy a Book (any book)

In today’s brave new world of publishing it can be easy to pit indie pub against trad pub in a real, Katniss-vs-The Capital sort of way (can you tell I just saw Mockingjay Pt1? LOL). And although that can be fun, I’m not sure it's entirely accurate.

I think it can be easy to believe Authors, especially those with fancy, trad published books at your local book store (be it big or small) as just another cog in the wheel of big business. After all, they got an advance(maybe), they get royalties (possibly), they have a big 5 house backing them and doing their marketing and publicity….right?

No. Not right. Not all the time, anyway. Not even most of the time.

Authors are a small business of one. Yes, even those who contract with a big 5 publishing house to make their book. Still a business of one.

If the Author chooses to hire an agent (that’s right, I said the author chooses to hire the agent) then great, business of two. It’s the Author’s revenue that supports the Agent (and don’t get me wrong, Agents, from what I can tell, are worth every penny). If the Author chooses to hire an editor in addition to the agent, now you have a business of three. It goes on and on from there.

The author is the creator of the product. Everyone else is contracted by the author to represent, polish, fabricate, sell, or market that product the author created. And more often than not the Author is spending their own money on some or all of these services (marketing, editing, publicity, travel, you name it, they spend on it).

Authors are CEO’s of their own business (and sometimes more than that – sometimes they are CEO, COO, VP of Marketing and Distribution, etc. etc.) The publishers, whether indie or trad, are vendors hired by the Author to produce the book. That’s how I like to think of it anyway.

Somewhere along the way we stopped seeing authors as entrepreneurs and shifted into seeing them as something…else.

Well, not all of us. Chuck Wendig has been calling himself an author/entrepreneur for a good long while. *tips hat to Mr. Wendig* If I had a beard I would scratch it in your honor, good sir.

I say all of this as a reminder that this weekend, after the turkey has been devoured by you and your family, and you’ve pulled yourself out of bed at an unholy hour to go shopping , we shouldn’t forget to support an Author.

Shopping Friday?

Buy a book. Any book.

Shopping Saturday?

Indie pub’d? Great. Buy it.

Trad pub’d from a local bookstore? Still great.

Shopping Monday?

eBook? Awesome. Buy it.

Online bookstore? Still great.

Because with each and every purchase some of that money is flowing back to the author. The small business at the heart of it all.

Can't afford to buy a book? Consider supporting an author another way.

This weekend, get out there and support an Author.

Want more about Author as entrepreneur? Check out these posts:

Supporting Small Business

Self Publishing Truism Bingo by Chuck Wendig

Check The Box: Do You Want To Be Your Own Publisher, Yes Or No? - by Chuck Wendig

Monday, November 17, 2014

Advice needed! First Time Thanksgiving Hostess

This year I am excited (and terrified) to be hosting my family’s Thanksgiving Extravaganza. I say ‘extravaganza’ because this will be the first time since my wedding that my entire family and my entire in-law family will be at one table.

And hosting a for-realzies, adult dinner party is a first for me. I tried hosting a Christmas dinner with my in-laws a few years back and most people went home with food poisoning. I’m not even kidding.

But puke-gate is behind me. The past is in the past (sung triumphantly in manner of Frozen’s Elsa).

This year I am determined to throw a spectacular event.

Here’s what I know so far:

There will be 13 people at dinner. Yes, THIRTEEN.

That’s actually all I know.

What advice do you have for a first time hostess?

Monday, November 10, 2014

My Kevin (from Up) Running Costume #runDisney

As you know, Handsome Jack and I signed up for the 2015 #DopeyChallenge. the Dopey Challenge is 4 races over 4 days beginning with a 5k and increasing in distance, culminating with a full marathon. Having run a few Disney races already I knew I wanted to do costumes for Dopey.

Whether you’re planning your first Disney race or your tenth, you may want to consider a costume. See my post about Disney races and costumes here.

Four races means four costumes, right? So far I've covered my Tinker Bell costume and my Rapunzel costume.

Today I want to reveal my *new* favorite costume - my Kevin (from Up) costume.

Up is a terrific movie. The first ten minutes reach into your chest, grab hold of your heart, and rip it right out. But afterwards, the adventure the heroes go on is fabulous and extraordinary. There are highs and lows, relatable characters, and an easy-to-hate villain. So, basically, all the fun elements I love and admire in a good story.

After we picked UP I knew I wanted to be Kevin, the bird Russell finds and befriends. Here's my inspiration.

I love how colorful she is. I especially love her deep blues. I planned on using a blue tank top and black shorts that I had laying around to evoke the deeper colors of Kevin.

But how could I evoke the colorful, bulbous bottom of the giant bird?

Why, with a running tutu of course.

Running tutu's are fluffy and full and would certainly evoke the bird-like shape. My first thought was to buy a tutu from one of the fabulous vendors on Etsy. When that didn't work out I decided to make my own.

I watched some fun tutu tutorials on YouTube, went to the craft store, and got to work. I started with black, crocheted elastic (the layers of holes were essential for this tutu).

I measured around my waist and cut the elastic. Now, the tutorials tell you to reduce the size of your waist by a few inches because you don't want your tutu to be baggy. Be sure to do this. It's essential.

Next, I stretched my elastic around a carry-on suitcase.
No, I'm not crazy. Stretching the elastic around the carry-on allowed me easier access to the holes in the elastic.

Now for the fun: I decided the front would be shorter than the back. I cut my tulle into strips and started threading them through the elastic.

The length of the colors and sections used increased as I made my way around the tutu. I took full advantage of all the holes available in the crocheted elastic.

Note: This was an expensive tutu because I used a little bit of a lot of colors. I hope to use my remainder pieces (that's what we called scrap fabric when I worked at a craft store) on a future project.

Here's pic of the finished tutu.

Along with the tank, shorts, and tights the costume is nearly complete. I felt the outfit was incomplete without a headpiece. Kevin's got these adorable feathers on her head and so, obvi, my outfit needed a headpiece.

My first approach was to buy real peacock feathers to a blue running cap. But, the blue of my hat didn't match the blue of my tank top. It was glaring enough that I decided to go a different way.

I had a hair comb that I wasn't using. I bought some teal, sequined flower picks from the craft store. Next, I bought a small spool of matching ribbon. I used hot glue to attach the flower picks to the hair comb. Then I wrapped the teal ribbon around the comb and glued it down. Here's a finished pic.

Love this costume! The tutu is fluffy and pretty.

I don't have a hat/visor for this one so I'll likely wear it on the shortest race, the 5k. I love my Rapunzel outfit but I think I love this Kevin costume even more. I bet it will be a crowd favorite. I can't wait to run in this!!

Decided on a #runDisney costume? Already run a race in costume? Share your stories and advice here in the comments.

Want some running costume ideas? Check out these awesome blogs and tutorials:

from Mom's Magical Miles - costume ideas

from Adventures of a Desi Blonde - Alien from Toy Story

from Karen Chu - costume ideas

from You Signed Up For What - race recap with costume pics

Tutu tutorial here and here

Monday, November 3, 2014

I Can Haz Productivity: October 2014 Month in Review

Ah, October. Such a lovely month. I love fall! And October was awesome for a number of reasons.

1. The month started off with a trip to the North GA Mtns. Of course, the trip was for a Day Job related event so I didn't have much time to write. However, the scenery was lovely. Here's a pic from my room.

2. My brother-in-law turned 49. He’s a special guy and doctors said he wouldn’t live past 18. Well, he’s 49. If that’s not worth celebrating I don’t know what is. We went bowling and everyone had a ball. (lol, get it? A bowling ball? LOLOL)

3. There was pumpkin carving. I love carving pumpkins. Something about it brings me back to being a kid.

4. Oh, yeah, and the biggest of big news: I got into law school! See my post recapping my thoughts on unlocking this achievement here.

October saw a lot of activity. Some out of town travel - AND out of town guests staying with us – meant I had less time to edit. Here are the details:

2 visits from out of town friends/family (although only one set stayed with us)
1 beta for CP
1 out of town conference (for day job)
1 revision to my just-for-fun project (because sometimes you just need to have fun)
1 runDisney costume completed (updates to come)
1 edit completed on a previous story
1 long trail run (due to weather)
11 gym workouts (including elliptical and personal trainer)
0 novels read for fun (but I’m feeling the itch. Need to read more)

And words!!! *does happy dance* It’s tough to track all the words written during revisions. You write some you take some away. But there were still words! And any words should be celebrated. So this month’s grand total of 8,245 words. This brings my total ‘tracked’ word count to 132,599 for the year!

And as for miles ran, I am happy to report, 36 miles logged. Which brings my total ‘tracked’ mileage to 208.5 miles this year. I’m happy to be falling in love with running again.

All in all, it’s not a bad month. When combined with Sep, Aug, and July. I feel like I'm on a roll! I'm looking forward to what the holiday season will bring.

#NeverGiveUp #NeverSurrender

How are your writing goals coming along?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...