Tag Archives: shenanigans

Leftovers make me happy

November has been manic. Those following along on my Thanksgiving Crossword Bloghop can surely attest as posts have gone into the black hole of cyberspace, and others have come up with missing pieces. No worries…every missing post has been caught up on my personal blog so the puzzlers can finish…but it’s been a busy time making sure everything gets where it needs going. I love doing a big hop and having a great prize…but this might be the last time for the month-long hop with the puzzle, I’m sad to say.

In other news, I got to enjoy a great meal with my immediate family and laugh for a couple of hours on Friday night…a treasure I don’t take lightly or for granted. It is so rare that the 4 of us get to sit down together, someone is always running…so, a meal together is a gift beyond measure. I will have leftovers for a week easily, because I don’t know how to do a family holiday meal small-scale, but I’m pretty sure we won’t hear a complaint. There were enough dishes to give variety for several days, even as leftovers.

As we wrangle our way toward the end of the year, I am blown away by the odd weather pattern that persists too. This year has been so off-kilter that I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. We went from low twenties and snow flurries earlier in the month to 50+ degrees the day after Thanksgiving and the weekend as well. The forecast shows more of the same to come. Weird – just weird. The predictability of the seasons here in the northern Midwest is out the window for 2017. I’m hoping to see some regularity return soon. I like the predictability…but more than that…I want a color filled Autumn again next year. I feel like I got jipped.

November was also, “Mom, I need…” month as my girls made life-change choices. One is moving out, and the other is trying to line up the ducks to return to school, starting college. I honestly never know if the sound of the door is someone coming or going. I can’t decide how I feel about it either.

December is stacking up to be zoo-ish as well. I’ve got a huge stack of ‘to-do’ on the desk, not counting commitments to others. I’ve got 3 editing projects to finish and a blender full of stories that are in pieces. I tried to do Nano, but honestly, the hop had me divided for focus and the story I thought I’d work on, like so many others, is a paper wasteland on my office floor, and every other available surface. I’m also preparing for the next step in my jaw reconstruction. There are 3 or 4 pieces left now, which seems surreal, but they will be wrapping up in rapid fashion as the next surgery happens in December…and great Goddess willing…the whole thing will conclude by the end of January, nearly 2 years after it started.

All in all, things have been crazy, and will continue on that trajectory for the foreseeable future. I’m up to the challenge, just don’t ask me what day it is. It makes the down time sweeter, and personally…leftovers that much tastier as the memory of a family night filled with laughter wafts up with the smells from the plate. Maybe that’s the true magic of leftovers…they are more than reheated sustenance for the system…they are food for the soul.

Holiday blessings to all as we are inundated by the season. Until next time, read something amazing and share with those you love.

Sav.

 

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Stirring the water

More ages ago than I could accurately quantify, a speaker made the comparative reference to personal growth as ‘all in’ or likened to a stagnant pond. I think about their comments occasionally, using them as a metric for myself, based loosely on the ‘smell factor’ for the scum on the surface.  There is a great body of water I know for the mental imagery as well…if the spring warms faster than the aerators are activated…there is a lovely green, mossy blanket that covers the surface of the water. While pretty – it is clearly out of place.

The same can be true for notions about writer things. I’d much rather have my life pond look like this…colorful, peaceful, but also…scum free.

(Image source unknown. No copyright infringement intended.)

Why do I mention any of this? Well…I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I have a professional career outside of writing and publishing, one that I don’t always enjoy, but never fail to be proud of. The idea with that work is that we are always innovating, always growing, reaching out to serve the customer in new and different ways. For that position, I am also on a short list of folks for a chance to move up and be a deciding factor for a team, a location, a region, and my company. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time. There is no moss growing. There’s no time.

That said, I’ve often been fond of the notion that those who forget history, the past that brought us to this present, are condemned to repeat it. Consequently, I spend a fair amount of time learning, and sharing the past practices as we reach for new, better, or innovative ones to replace them for my non-author me. Interestingly enough, I’ve gotten an opportunity to do it for the writer side of the equation recently…and I’m submerged in the idea of how much publishing has changed.

Moreover, I’m shocked to see how some things have returned to the fore, often with the user none the wiser for the point. The dialogue and discourse of the industry has changed expansively, and divisively. I’m not saying anything new, I realize that…but in learning about where we have come from, to seeing what we’ve become…I understand better the confusion so many are experiencing. The sheer number of charlatan experiences is mind-boggling. And, I don’t believe that it’s on a course to turn away soon.

There’s another adage I know about filling many roles, but mastering none – I think that’s where publishing is right now. With the floodgates open to allow publication of works that have been neither edited, or reviewed, put into the mix by writers who don’t understand or know the history, the market has flooded. And, continues to run over. Unfortunately pooling in places that don’t get stirred.

There are pros and cons to this. Writers who the ‘gatekeepers’ withheld once upon a time until they were better positioned to be published, either by writing education, or storytelling instruction, etc…are out and in the market…and what early bard didn’t have a few bumps in their stories? At the same time…they are in the market without the benefit of firm guidance on those factors, nor the expanded circle that used to be the path. In my head I see a fish on land…

What I mean to point out is this…once upon a time, the work went through so many hands before getting to public consumption, the village worked together. Now, we have individuals who are author, editor, art designer, marketer, publisher, and media rep. How many hats can we wear well? I think it is far fewer than most believe. And, I would argue that running for the sake of running doesn’t eliminate pond scum, it only churns it up to smell as each task takes a turn on the bottom.

I further believe, that just because we are seeing someone do something, doesn’t make it responsible or an accurate practice. I think most of us NEED others in our circle of influence. I think it reveals a large scale problem with publishing right now…One we need to get ahead of and back down before it destroys us all. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the past. Innovation should be moving the bar farther…not bringing it down. We collectively need to be doing better. I think that includes reaching out to others, and clasping the hands of those who reach for us.

That said…we also need to know and understand when in the timeline it is time to regroup and right our own ship before we align with an armada that isn’t where we’re trying to go. At the end, balance is everything. It’s what keeps us moving forward without letting the moss grow. For me, after the recent learning curve, I’m more convinced than ever that I need to take some time to stir the water. The surface may be clear, but I’m not sure what’s lurking underneath. I can’t accept that.

Last – don’t forget about the Crossword puzzle blog hop…there have been hiccups, but I’m loving seeing so many new sites and what they have to offer. Hope you will too. Until next time, read something great, and tell your friends.

Sav

Savie’s Thanksgiving Crossword BlogHop

It’s almost time and I’m busting myself for it to begin. I’m so excited I can’t see straight…honest. Starting November 1st…each day is a new blog with a new clue for the puzzle…here’s all the news you need to know to participate and have a chance to WIN. GOOD LUCK!!

Here’s the board…print it off to fill it in.

 

Savie’s Thanksgiving Bloghop 2017

The answers are all things from Savannah’s books, things she loves, or qualities/attributes she values.

The clue for each answer can be found at the blog listed on the date in November equal to the number. IE: 10 across would be on the 10th, etc.  ***NOTE – on the 1st & 15th there is more than one blog to visit. They are noted on the puzzle & highlighted so you can see where the answer goes. Also, Every 5 days, Savannah will be checking in and giving a clue on her website as well…they are denoted as ‘s’ clues. For those – go to Savannah’s Blog: www.savannahverte.com/blog.***

To be entered to win you must pm your completed crossword to Savannah’s facebook author page (www.facebook.com/authorsavannahverte) or email it to her at savannah@savannahverte.com

NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT CST DECEMBER 5th.

The drawing will be held no later than Friday December 8th & the winner will be contacted.
They then will have 5 days to respond or default & a new winner will be selected.

BLOGSTOPS FOR CLUES:

1*1         Down                   Written Love Reviews

https://www.facebook.com/WrittenLoveReviews/

1*2         Down                   Musings from an Addicted Reader

https://www.facebook.com/Musings-From-An-Addicted-Reader-1452320254989887/

1*3         Across                   Obsessed by Books

https://www.facebook.com/ObsessedbyBooks/

s1            Down                    Savannah

2              Down                    Author Migraine Central

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMigraineCentral/

3              Across                   Turning the Pages

https://pagesofthestory.wordpress.com/blog/

4              Across                   Booked and Loaded

http://bookedandloaded.com/

5              Down                    Karen writes Murder

https://karenwritesmurder.com/

s5            Down                    Savannah

6              Down                    Dena Garrison- Real… Hot… Romance

http://denagarson.net/

7              Across                   Wickedly Innocent Promotions

Http://wickedlyinnocentpromotions.blogspot.com

8              Down                    Clare & Lou’s Mad About Books

http://clareandlousmadaboutbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

9              Across                   Summer’s Smexy Book Reads

https://www.facebook.com/Summers.Smexy.BR/

10           Down                    Ellie’s Witchy Life

https://ellieswitchylife.blogspot.com/

s10         Across                   Savannah

11           Down                    2 Bibliophile’s Guide

http://2bibliophiles.blogspot.com

12           Down                    Dirty Bad Bloggers

https://www.facebook.com/dirtybadbloggers/

13           Across                   Author Mireille Chester

http://mireillechester.blogspot.ca/

14           Down                    Twinsie Talk

https://www.facebook.com/twinsietalk/

15*1      Across                   A Naughty Book Love Affair

https://www.facebook.com/bookerscorner/

15*2      Across                   ILoveBooksAndStuff Blog

https://www.facebook.com/ilovebooksandstuff/

s15         Down                    Savannah

16           Down                    Little Shop of Readers

https://www.facebook.com/LittleShopofReaders/

17           Across                   SydneyGen Reads

https://www.facebook.com/sydneygenreads/

18           Down                    I don’t get Sundays

https://www.facebook.com/idontgetsundays/

19           Across                   Triple A

https://www.facebook.com/TripleABookBlog/

20           Down                    Books 2 Blogs

https://www.facebook.com/Books2Blog/

s20         Across                   Savannah

21           Across                   Those Crazy Book Chicks

https://www.facebook.com/Thosecrazybookchicks

22           Across                   I Smell Sheep

http://www.ismellsheep.com/

23           Across                   Terri Luvs Books

http://www.terriluvsbooks.com/

s23         Down                    Savannah

24           Across                   Read Our Thoughts Book Blogs

https://readourthoughtsbookblog.wordpress.com/

25           Down                    Eskimo Princess

http://eskimoprincess.blogspot.com/

s25         Down                    Savannah

26           Down                    Author Kassie Lane

http://www.authorkassielane.blogspot.com

27           Across                   A Book Lover’s Emporium

https://www.facebook.com/abookloversemporiumbookblog/

28           Across                   Country Reads

http://contryreads.blogspot.com

29           Across                   Barbara’s Book Reviews

http://barbarasbookreviews.blogspot.com

30           Across                   Savannah

 

THE PRIZE…A Library Shelf messenger Bag, a Kindle Fire, and a charm bracelet with charms for all of Savannah’s Books.

(don’t) Let it Show…

I’m not a big dog in this race…not even close. There are some that think I’m a big deal though, and well versed too…why? Because I learned one lesson in business young and have never forgotten it – Don’t flinch…and I don’t.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a full-blown tornado ripping though my soul at any given moment.

I did something a week or so ago, something I never thought I’d ever consider doing again…I pitched a literary agent to go back to traditional publishing. I LOVE being an Indie…don’t get me wrong, there’s just something about the idea of traditional backing, and marketing funds, and a few other perks that are tempting…though only recently. I’ll give it to you gospel…I was shaking in my shoes and nearly yerked my lunch before I got to the door. All in all, there are some great things on the horizon though because of that meeting…and I did manage to keep lunch in. So there’s that too. I just have to re-evaluate how I’m going to travel the road I’ve endeavored to take.

I’m fully confident of my abilities to write and be in the public eye at signings or conventions. I love the energy in a signing room…not gonna lie, it’s a hard habit to break and I have a fix every chance I get. That said, I also know my limitations. Public Relations and Marketing are easily my predominant Achilles heel, and the aspect of the business I struggle forward every inch to gain ground. I have to consider that I may need to go hybrid at the least to be able to have that front get the attention it deserves. It scares me more than a little, but I know I need help.

 

I did not make the decision to leave traditional publishing lightly. Any consideration to go back must be as carefully weighed. Whichever way this road goes, one thing will hold true…you won’t see my frenzy if I can help it. Composure will be me, if I have to stand on my own feet to accomplish it.

On The Road Again

I’m up. It’s early. So early, the birds aren’t even awake yet. After a night of fighting to make it to the land of nod, and sleep being that ever elusive ship that is hard to catch in harbor especially the night before hitting the road for a signing event, I’m happy to report that I did manage to set sail, landing without incident on the far reaching shores. I’m equally happy to report that I will have 2 travelling companions. YAY! *throws confetti in the air*

Penned Con in St. Louis is this weekend. It is two…well two and a half days of fun filled activity. I can hardly wait. You will happy to know, I did remember to pack clothes. 🙂 As a bonus, the large suitcase I’m using this trip, allowed for packing of my pillow and blanket. Only thing left to pack in the toiletries and face paint.

Take a gander at what is scheduled for Penned

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

 

Tangled webs

I want to take some time today to talk through a few sticky situations. Why? Because left untended, they become monsters and the tangled webs are too strong, even for ninjas then. I’m no ninja, so venting them openly is the best I can do.

I’ve been gunning HARD lately as many of you know. It’s meant long days, short nights, an ass-ton of coffee, and raw emotions. The combination can be lethal…but I’m holding the tiger by the tail…so far. I know that’s not how we maintain control, but at this point, any grasp is better than none at all. Right?

I’ve noticed that when I’m in this odd euphoria of sleep deprivation that things jump out at me that I might not otherwise notice. Rather than poke the bears, I thought I’d offer some friendly advice without naming names…with the best of intentions and a smile on my face while the caffeine has continued dominion.

Let’s start with the person on social media who posts every hour or so about the same thing…or an update on something that will obviously not be resolved for days…or what they are doing at any given moment. Let’s face it, over-sharers exist. Most of the time, I can ignore the behavior, or there is always the ‘unfollow’ to click if it gets to be too much, but let’s talk about some self-regulation on social media. I’d like to point out to those who feel compelled to share such finite changes in your day…there is a difference between quality and quantity in sharing too. If your audience can fathom when you are ‘on the throne,’ based on your lack of posting for those 4 minutes, you’re doing it wrong.

Next, let us take a lesson from Yoga about breathing…there are going to be things that come up that will fluster us to no end, and when that happens…let us stop, and take a good, deep, cleansing breath before we react. The cursing, screaming, spittle-dripping tirades that some have come to favor are so unattractive…live and virtual. Personally, I think one of the rapid killers of civilized society right now is the immediate gratification of responding before having to think. What ever happened to taking a few minutes, or overnight, to process information before spitting out the first, often worst, thoughts that come to mind? We are not showing ourselves very well.

Third up on my list of ‘OhMyGoddessWhatAreWeThinking?’ is the matter of If you ask for it…guess what? I recently suggested a new writer who wanted to publish, work with an editor I know. They write outside my comfort level of what I can edit and have ability to offer good feedback for…so I referred them to someone else. I learned that they got the edits back and have ‘poo-poo’d’ the comments as being too picky, and that it isn’t fitting with their writing style. Also, that a NYT Bestselling author most of us have heard of doesn’t do it that way. Here’s the thing…One, you are not said NYT Bestselling author where you can take license with the hard rules.  Two, grammar rules ARE picky. Three, YOU ASKED FOR AN EDITOR because you didn’t know what you were doing wrong or how to remedy it…guess what? They gave you comprehensive guidance on how to fix what wasn’t working. If you didn’t want to know…you shouldn’t have asked.

Four…and mercy let me slurp some coffee before I begin this one…IF you KNOW the answer, please don’t ask the question just to get attention. I’ve seen recently…seasoned authors, with a year or more under their belts, asking first book, newbie questions. Questions that I am seeing first book/newbie authors answering with ease and confidence. I am floored. That’s all I’ve got. Well…that’s not completely true, and it goes to a larger, pandemic problem that should be addressed…If you ask a question – BOTHER TO LEARN THE ANSWER. there are TONS in the Indie author community that are so helpful and will go out of their way to assist anyone…respect them enough to take in the answer and make it work, not just hear or read the words. You’ve taken their time, return the courtesy by at least trying to apply the response. If you require repeated exposure to the same information, get a notebook.

Four segued nicely into five which is ditch the excuses. LIFE HAPPENS…to all of us. We all get sick, have babies or fur babies who need us, want to take a day away from the keyboard to decompress, have parents, or play-dates, or appliance mishaps, or any other myriad things that happen…at the end…if you made a commitment – keep it. It’s that simple. your best is not the same as anyone else’s…and guess what? It’s all you’ve got to give. Don’t bungle it up with excuses about how you didn’t go as fast as someone else, or whatever…leave the excuses for the quitters. If you’re going for it – RUN!

Lastly, if you’ve just learned it, you are not qualified to teach it and CHARGE for the lesson. There is sharing and information swapping that happens all the time, but I’ve noticed a trend that makes me nervous…young authors who had a good book do well, who jump from that to the ‘teaching class about it for $50 an hour so you can do what they did.’ It reminds me a workshop I attended at RT several years ago about learning the Amazon algorithms to maximize exposure…which translated to sitting in a class waiting in pain to get to the subject, instead of how amazon was like the presenters dating life. Many of you know just how pricey RT is…so I paid for that. I can never recover those funds, not the hour and I learned NOTHING. Welll..I learned I’m not going to that presenters class again. Basically, there is a wide range of information out there and often it doesn’t have a price tag…so Buyer beware.

I’d like to say this is everything, now squarely expunged and I’m good to go…but we all know it isn’t. These are just some examples of the sticky things that are out there…the ones that are easy to get tripped up in and off-track. It’s too easy to lose our way, and get caught up in the crazy of others.

There used to be a meme on my desk that I haven’t rediscovered since moving the office that said: “Don’t let others pull you into their storm, pull them into your peace.” It’s good advice.

All of these things are detractors, and false roads that take us away from the golden path to productivity…so let us now make an agreement to lift each other up, and offer positive reinforcements as we each try to grow, and to put helpful things out in the paths of others, and not to ask for things that we don’t truly need as we try to be a bit better than we were yesterday.

It’s my goal…how about you?

Collecting Pens

I’m finding that I’ve lapped myself on the hamster wheel lately. It’s a good thing, even as I fight not to give in and let myself ride the next turn and slow down. If it wouldn’t put me severely behind, I would in an instant. But alas, it will only make the next lap harder and I find that catching up is simply not in my ability if I get too far behind.

Instead, I’ve taken to doing some long hand writing. It’s got a certain meditative quality to it that typing can never encompass. As such, I’ve also taken turns writing with the myriad pens I’ve collected over the years, or through other authors at signings…because I’m a pen whore. There, I said it. No, I don’t want a 12-step program. I happen to love my obsession. There is something about finding one that just glides for you that makes the words all the more magical.

Do you have a favorite? A favorite single you’ve never been able to replace, or is it a certain brand that works for you every time? What about the feel? I have recently discovered one that I like a lot…and then found that it came in different barrel styles. They are NOT the same, even though the ink and roller are…the feel is completely foreign and I cannot make myself pick the one up…which really bites because I bought a whole package of them.

So…what’s a girl to do?

Part of me thinks that authors, like the president, should write one word or letter and then give them away like prizes. Could that become a thing? ‘Here, I wrote with this…treasure it forever.’ Somehow, unless you’re a big shot, and it has your name on it, and maybe the title of the work it was used for, and maybe some writer’s tears on it, I don’t think so. Guess I’ll go back to the old stand-by solution…donating them to the classrooms at the local school. Somebody is always needing one, right? That’s what I’m telling myself.

Meanwhile, the tried and true I’ve fallen completely in love with ones will make it into one of the multiple holders around my office and wait for rediscovery. I mean, fair is fair…gotta try them all. Don’t I?

Running 220 with my hair on fire

It’s that day. I’m on the road and likely recording errant thoughts for work I intend to do when I reach my destination. I’ve been running 220 with my hair on fire for weeks leading up to this. C.A.S.E. Revelations came out a scant two weeks ago, and I’ve got an anthology & a boxed set on the near horizon that has been calling hours to promote as well. Add in packing & prep for a signing (and liberation from the real world), plus final edits/assessment of a manuscript for someone else (that I finished at nearly 3 am on Saturday morning, I might add), and you’ll have me scrambling to pack and get out the door on time.

But, by the time this posts, I’ll be long on my way. Send coffee. I’ll need it by now.

With the sun coming up to my left, I should be well beyond my beloved home state and likely  well on my way to warmer. It’s always amusing to make this trek, shedding layers as the hours pass.

So…what will you do this week? Me, I’ve got no phone, no neighbors…and a large riverhouse to shelter me and my thoughts as I try to plunk out at least 1 or 2 of the upcoming works that need words…and grab a few lazy hours on the deck in the hammock catching up on some great reads! Bliss folks…bliss is coming.

I’m going to hope for access to post next weeks snippet with fun from Booking In Biloxi…the signing is the gold standard and I’m hopeful to find a coffee joint if necessary to upload before I get back on the road to head north and have to stop to once again put pants on.

Til then…read something awesome.
See you on the pages.
Sav

 

Back to work

Last week as I was preparing to leave for an event in Wisconsin my laptop arrived back on my doorstep. To say that I was excited would be an understatement. I was expecting it to be gone for a lot longer.

To be honest I was expecting them to send me a check with a letter saying that it could not be saved and I would have to replace it. To receive it back two days after they received it and to have everything exactly as I had left it was more than I believed possible.

I accepted it without question (I didn’t want to jinx this newly found luck) and now I am able to get back to work. I can work whatever hours I want on the trilogy and when edits come in I can work on them whenever I want too! My stress levels immediately dropped.

It feels good to be able to do what I love.

~Miranda

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Brain soup

Sorry folks. My brain is absolutely in the blender lately. I have been racing to the finish of so many projects, and finding others that I forgot were on the plate. I’m going to try, but not promise, to be around next Monday. It is month end, but also scamper like a madwoman to finalize packing and weighing of bags to go on the plane bright and early Tuesday…I’m going to the final AAD in Savannah Georgia…who’s joining me??

Meanwhile, this week I have 2 federal compliance audits to complete for other field locations for my company…the job just won’t lie down so I can pack. And, I have some promised shopping to do for mini #2. Guess I’ll be sleeping on the flight home, cuz everything from now until then is booked.

Read something great!