Saturday, January 31, 2009


Recently I posted over at The Writing Mother about being a salesperson and a writer. Personally, I think that you absolutely have to be a salesperson to be a successful writer. You can be a writer without a sales bone in your body, but if you want to be a success (as defined in a financial term) then you need to SELL what you write.

I'm wondering... what do you think of that? Do you think it's hard/easy/impossible to sell your writing? What sort of objections to you encounter?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Words that manifest change

So, how have you been?
I can't believe that I've been MIA for a month, and I can explain...I think.
Actually, no, I can't. I've spent the last few weeks/months/half year dealing with what is increasingly becoming more likely that I've got 'brain damage' of some description. Not severe, I would hope, but having just been for a 'head to hip' MRI, and referred to some teams in our local hospital that deal specifically with head injuries, I'm having to face up to that.
Added to that, my University time table got shuffled quite interestingly, and I'm spending a lot of time at home, reading and studying and creating more work for myself.

My new year's resolution this year was one word.
There's a logic that I explained on my blog a couple of days ago, that if we choose one key word for our year, that we can manifest far easier. It's easier for example to say 'I want to start writing' than to say 'I want to write x words a day' It's easier still to say ' I want to have completed 'x'(where x= the amount you really need to get done this year) and then divide it by 12, and then by 4 - and plan accordingly, but when you're in a position of flux, choosing one word (start, continue, care, stop) is probably the best plan.

Words that manifest change aren't a new concept, but I don't think we use them enough - and I've had some really cool ideas how to support anyone looking to build change in their lives - something I may or may not pursue, or just document and hand off. It's hard sometimes - you get an idea, and you think it's great, and you pursue it, till another one comes along. I come up with so many ideas that I don't know what to do with myself sometimes ;).

Now, I know that I have lots of projects on the go. That's more accurate though if you say 'had'. I still own them, but one by one, I let things slide - or, in an effort to keep up, started to streamline and never finished. I have things on my todo list from before I bumped my head that just keeps getting pushed further and further down my list.
So, this week, I made a fresh start. Or started to. I don't know how it'll go, but I've pledged to document it, and document it I will.
How are your goals looking though, nearly a month in? Are you 'winning' - are they challenging enough? Too challenging?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Very Excited

Tomorrow I should be able to download the layout for my Green Horse book. My job is to go over all the text and sketches and make sure that all is kosher. I also have to add some content and have chosen to add a reader's application guide. This was my idea so that 4H groups and other horse-related groups around North America can USE the book, not just read it. But that's so intimidating to even think of... I've never created a reader's guide before. Then again, I'd never written an 85K book before and I did that without dying.

On another great note, the second half of my advance check (or cheque as we say in Canada) is making its way to me from my agent's office. And wouldn't you know it, I have something that needs buying.

Back in November some jerk hit my car. I'm sure he's not a jerk to everyone, but he sure let me know what he thought of me. I (for once in my life) kept my mouth shut and let him babble and then drove off and filed my police report. He was at fault and his insurance company accepted full responsibility. (Note to jerk, after you hit someone, it's not usually a good idea to blame them for not "getting out of" your way.)

Long story short, his insurance company has decided to write off my car because it's old and not worth fixing. It has a cracked quarter panel, that's it. What made me most angry was the fact that we don't get a choice in the matter. Even if I said "ok, I changed my mind, no claim, walking away... kthxbai..." I have no choice. His insurance company WILL be de-registering my car.

I've decided to look on the bright side and say "hey, my advance check is coming and we have good credit... AND it's the best time to buy a car." We're looking at maybe even buying new, I'm thinking a Dodge Caravan, but that's because my secret plan is to have another child eventually and we need the room!

What feels really good right now is having something to put my advance check to that benefits my family directly. Lately Major Man has had something in his craw about how much my company makes and how much I rely on our credit card to "float" my business. I just haven't gotten around to get a business credit card and I suck at accounting and bookkeeping so it's never really evident what is going where.

I think one of the things I'd like to do in 2009 is get a good bookkeeper or accountant!

Monday, January 12, 2009

And This is Why I Can't be Super-WAHM Every Day...

Or, "This is Why I Can't Stick to a Schedule"

It seems like it never fails: I craft my plan for the day or the week, carefully including all the different aspects of my busy week, then something derails it.

Some days I have monumental plans for being the ultimate writer, a model of efficiency, speeding through first drafts as if there was a fire sale on verbs. Then it happens: the interviewee is out of the office all day despite our scheduled appointment, or the school calls and I have to pick up my daughter, or the dog is sick and I have to haul out the carpet cleaner immediately or we'll have a weird green stain by the back door. (Okay, the last part was TMI maybe.)

Other days, the homemaking side of my life is at the forefront of my plans. I'm going to wash, dry and fold 7 loads of laundry, get $300 worth of groceries for $75, and finally repot that poor, wilting houseplant. Then the washer breaks, or the email dings with a rush assignment or, as is the case today, my favorite couponing site is kaput.

I'm not very flexible, really. Or maybe I'm just stretched so far that even ElastiGirl would snap under similar circumstances. Whenever a monkey-wrench is thrown into my plans, it takes me some time to wrap my head around this new course of events and switch over to a new groove. (<--That paragraph, my dears, is pure genius use of cliches and mixed metaphors. Not to be attempted by mere amateurs! :P )

Not every day is like this, of course. It's just that for every day that being a work-at-home mother seems to be the ideal lifestyle, there's a day when getting up early to shower, dress and commute seems easier.

I know it isn't true, but it's a nice little fantasy that wahm-types occasionally indulge in. It's ironic, then, that when I had an office job, I dreamt that being a writer working from home would be all rose petals and chocolate.

This has been another installment of the ongoing whine that can be heard across the Internet. :) It's not really all that bad - it's just that my $75 might only buy me $75 worth of groceries today.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This Chaps My Butt

Yet again, another author has been found guilty of being a lying liar pants on fire. And again, it's with Miss Oprah.

"On December 27, 2008, Herman Rosenblat admitted to fictionalizing portions of his life story, including how he met his wife. Based on this admission, the publisher of his forthcoming memoir — Angel at the Fence — canceled plans to print his book."

I wonder why she even has her book club. Oh, I forgot, to highlight the books SHE likes. I'm still holding a grudge against her after she made a comment about there being a lack of good books being published today and that's why she was choosing older, "classic" books. Perhaps she simply reads the books and decides what will have the best STORY. To do that, of course, she has to make it about the writer.

But most writers I know don't want it to be about them. I certainly don't want to sit and chat about me, me, me when it's about the book. The book sells the book... not the writer.

What are your thoughts?