Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wedding Madness

This is a quick fly-by post because I am supposed to be:

1) setting up chairs
2) writing my speech
3) vacuuming (again!)
4) fixing the hem on my Mother of the Bride outfit
5) foraging in the forest for fall cuttings to decorate house

I've discovered that the only thing worse than writing is not writing. Going a bit crazy actually. I hope this month off results in a huge surge of productivity when the wedding is over. Not writing causes me to over-think my life and that leads to stressing over non-issues like the thread count in sheets. I can tell you one thing: I will not be doing any more housework for the foreseeable.

I got a new haircut out of the deal though. My first professional cut since 2009 and wow, what a difference! I thought I was doing a pretty good job cutting my own hair until now. Who knew?

(As it turns out--everyone. I'm the only person who thought my hair looked okay.)

Wedding-wise everything is under control. The weather has vastly improved. There is never enough money but we haven't set fire to the credit card yet. My book sales paid for some of the extras which is amazing considering where I was a year ago as an author. My daughter is very happy with her groom and the wedding plans. I'm going to see my sisters again and my beautiful nieces and my sweet little grandson will be here as well....

Who am I kidding? I'm a nervous wreck. Giving birth was less terrifying.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mother of the Bride

It's raining. It's been raining since August. My daughter is getting married at my home at the end of September. Last year at this time, we were outside enjoying the sun and the blue sky of Indian Summer, that gorgeous last gasp of summer when the bugs die off and the air is crisp, and I said: "This is perfect."

In 54 years of life I still haven't learned the meaning of Murphy's Law.

It's raining and that's not all: Leaky taps, safety railings that need to be installed, electricians waited upon, flowers that have drowned, dog hair and dirt that is bewilderingly self-generating, bedding, housing for out of town guests, dishwashers that abruptly don't do what they are advertised to do. Suddenly, my house is against me and the wilderness presses in. Friends and family have told me: "Don't worry, everything will be fine." They mean well, but they're insane.

For those of us who have thrown weddings or parties or hosted big gatherings, who have led troops into battle or mounted stage plays--we know perfectly well that the event "will be fine" only after hours and hours of back-breaking work.

The bride and groom are fantastic, doing extraordinary things on a shoestring budget. This is truly the DIY generation. And when it comes right down to it, it's all about the ceremony. I can say with all honesty that I'll relax after their union is confirmed, vows exchanged and they are wed. For some reason, it's less worrying imagining 75 guests crammed into a converted woodworking shop than it is to see one's daughter happily matched for life.

Go figure.

Book I'm reading for Bookclub: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Just finished: The Complaints Department by Susan Haley.

Movie that made me think: Sunset Unlimited starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Humanity and Indie Publishing

I couldn't think of a better title for this post which is really a potpourri of this week's events in Writing for My Life.

1) Sales in August fell off a cliff. The benefit of falling off the sales cliff was that it was going to happen sooner or later, right? I was cured of watching the graph thingy at KDP because it was too depressing.

2) Plagiarism seems to be a hot topic among indie authors these days. Plagiarism (for those too busy plagiarizing to use a dictionary) means "to steal ideas or passages from another's work and present them as one's own." - Collins English Dictionary. In the exchanges I'm reading online, the offenders argue that because they made changes to the original work it's all copasetic. Dear Plagiarizer: It is not. Write your own stuff. (and look up copasetic) I have more thoughts on this subject but it's been a busy week so onward!

3) Lots of traffic from Turkey this week so a big shout out to all my visitors. I wrote a thesis paper on Turkey when I was in high school so I feel like we're old friends. Nice to shake virtual hands! Think of my sales cliff! Buy a book!

4) Piracy. I found a pirated copy of Iced Under on an ebook site, heavens knows where or how or why, but there it was buried in pages and pages of mysteries. When I made it available for free, I assume it got passed around as books do. So until I am as popular as Grisham, no more free ebooks. At least one person out of 7 billion will have to buy the book first before passing it on. The humanity!

5) Diet. I'm on one again. Must lose weight for daughter's wedding to get into Mother of the Bride outfit. So what I want to know is how am I supposed to write if I can't eat Skittles?

6) Spent the day correcting minor errors in Wanton because that was soooo much easier than writing a new scene in Wastrel. (Confused about plagiarism? If you find writing a book is easy-peasy you're probably stealing it.)

7) I have a book event on Saturday! Authors' Day at the Wakefield Market in beautiful downtown Wakefield, Quebec. From 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. I will be selling print copies of Iced Under, The Grey Lady and The River Bride in a 3-Book Gift Pack for Christmas at a shockingly low price. So get over here!

8) The winners of the Goodreads Giveaway were Cassandra Edwards, Sausan Sumar and Dorothy Huckaby. Signed copies of The Grey Lady were popped in the mail on Tuesday so it is anybody's guess when your books will arrive, ladies. I love Canada Post but ... well. You know.

That's me for another week. Be nice to each other.