Tag Archives: Amazon

#YourTurnChallenge – #Day2 – Failing Forward

21 Jan

Yes, you read the title correctly. Failing forward.

I have come again to a point in my life when I am hampered by a massive fear of failure, which is also wrapped up in a shiny package of fear of success, all tied together, neat and pretty, with the bow of self-disappointment.

See, if I succeed then fail there will be a much larger audience to witness my mistake.

However, if I never try how can I ever win the ultimate prize of financial independence?

Step right up, folks! You won’t want to miss the prize fight of the season! Avoidance of imaginary future pain versus fact and logic.

Yup. Makes lots of sense. But, there it is.

How do I create forward momentum?

I think the only thing to do is to simply allow myself small attempts. Perhaps with several small successes I can work up the courage to seriously implement larger goals; build up my writer/entrepreneur self-confidence. It’s worth a try, right?


And wouldn’t you know it, I have already started. Clever me. I have published 3 short stories on a website called Quarter Reads. I don’t think I’ve made any money yet, but at least they were accepted and are up and ready. There are a few more in my Word files waiting for submission. It’s just taking me a while to get them over there.


Why else? Fear of failure.

You see, part of me expected to make a couple bucks right off the bat after the first story posted.

Now that I have had a few up for a little while that part of me is crowing that this ‘experiment’ was a failure.

The question I should be asking myself is, Why am I listening to my inner critic (who can be a real bully some days)?

Quarter Reads only went live in October. It’s not like they’re huge. It’s not like I’ve invested hundreds of dollars in advertising. In fact, perhaps this lack of self-confidence has led me to not market enough, so that this whole situation becomes a messy self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’m just digging deeper and deeper, aren’t I?

“It’s all so complicated!” She wailed dramatically.

The thing is, though, that I haven’t failed at all. How can you fail if you haven’t really tried yet?

I have a book of poetry on Amazon. I have 3 stories up on Quarter Reads. I have countless unfinished ideas, stories and books sitting on my computer… waiting. How can I fail if I haven’t given it a real go? How can you lose a race when you’re still on the starting block?

Failure is part of learning, growing. How many times did you skin your knee learning to ride a bike? How many times did you bruise your butt learning to ice skate?

Failure means you’re active; you’ve given it a shot.

So, back to Failing Forward. This is my thought: I will try.

More stories on Quarter Reads.

Complete an anthology and publish it on Amazon.

Actually market my products.



Besides, nobody’s perfect.





A Little Of This And A Little Of That And Presto A Poem

24 Nov

I am so uninspired this evening it’s almost painful. So I’m going to talk about a whole range of random things from the last couple of days and hope to come up with something. Fingers crossed this works.

*            *            *

First off, Lonnie and I have taken a couple of baby steps toward (hopefully) putting an office together where people can come in and rent an office space by the hour. We have looked at one place that’s up for rent, and have the number of the realtor for another possible location.

On Thursday afternoon we put in a call to our law firm about how we will want to get things set up for starting this business with crowdfunding. The last thing we want to do is screw something up in the first couple of weeks. That would really put a damper on things. (no duh, Rose)  The lawyer we talked with is scheduled to call us back Monday afternoon with her opinion on things, and hopefully we can move forward with a crowdfunding campaign by the end of this week. Hopefully. We’ll have to hear what she has to say about what needs to be set up before we start.  :/ 

My wonderful husband is also looking into grants as well.

Needless to say, my brain is about to explode.

I think I’ll stick with helping with the business plan, playing with the cost projections, and trying to decide which site to go through for raising the funds. If you miss me on Twitter and other places in the internet world, please, say a little prayer for our sanity as we stare at the instructions for how to create a five-year projection and write a business plan; and dream up marketing ideas for the fundraising and the future business.

(It’s going to be great once everything is set up, but for right now…?

Okay, enough of trying not to hyperventilate. On to something else.)

*            *            *

Jay and I have started reading Louis L’Amour’s The Shadow Riders. Our first sitting we finished the 3rd chapter. Already really sucked in. He has seen the movie, but I have no idea what is coming and I am on the edge of my seat. It’s so frustrating being so interested in a book that’s sitting on my phone, but only being able to read it once a week.

By now you’ve probably figured out that I try my best not to have to cancel days with Jay.  lol

*            *            *

Thanksgiving is almost here and I can not wait.

The pumpkin pie is already calling my name.

One problem with this whole food thing… I have decided to go back onto my diet after Thanksgiving.

Part of me died typing that out.

It’s not a hard diet, really. It’s just the avoidance of refined sugar, almost all simple carbohydrates, and most fruit. I know it will be a lot better for my health, my blood sugar swings will stop being as dramatic, and I will have more energy, but it’s difficult to be really excited.

One thing I will allow myself this time is one of those little wrapped Dove or Hershey’s dark chocolate squares a day. You know those little piece that are wrapped in foil, and in reality there’s like five of them to a serving? Yeah, one a day. Believe me when I say, those things will be savored.

*            *            *


My mind is empty

No words to fill

I’ve tried for hours

No thoughts to spill

The page lies blank

Just an accusing stare

Nothing to write

So nothing is there


*            *            *

Hah! I did it!  😀 

A spur of the moment photo shoot that really paid off.  :)

A spur of the moment photo shoot that really paid off. 🙂



I Remember This One As ‘Green Glass Beads’

20 Nov

When I was little (and still today) my parents had the most amazing hoard of books. I remember sitting on the floor, or curled up in a corner of a couch reading stories, admiring illustrations, pouring over poetry. I remember us all piled on my parents’ bed as mom read The Secret Garden, doing all the different voices. Accents included. I remember dad reading My Side Of The Mountain to us, a chapter at a time, at bedtime. To this day those two books are still among my favorites.

I also remember mom reading a poem about green glass beads to my sisters and me. A little while later, I went on a hunt to see if I could find the poem hidden inside one of the many books stashed throughout the house. I finally found it. The drawings and the words once again captivated me.

Now, I’m all grown up (reluctantly), and I still search for this poem. This time, on YouTube.



Is it any wonder I love reading and writing books and poetry?

It was all around me growing up. Some of our favorite books were those thick books of poems by Shel Silverstein. Especially Where The Sidewalk Ends. Then of course there were the many Calvin and Hobbs books which could take up many hours of a rainy afternoon (so many big words to learn!). Even with all the other books surrounding us, we also found time to simply flip through the pages of random tomes from the encyclopedia collection. All sorts of wonderful things to learn in one of those.

I think most of us four girls memorized a certain poem by our mother. The one I am thinking of was published in a little booklet from her college. It’s about 3 men in a tub…in the sea. It always makes me smile and sometimes even giggle.

Perhaps I’ll ask her to let me put it on here. Although, the more I think about it (and I have been thinking about it for several months) the more I would like to have that poem in the fore matter of my book of bathroom poetry.

Something else to ask her about.  🙂 


Seven No Nonsense Book Launch Tips for Broke Authors

22 Sep

I can use all the tips for broke authors I can get, seeing as how I am putting together a book launch with a budget of zero dollars.

Have you considered or used some of these strategies?

Do you have other advice for a broke author planning her first launch?

WordServe Water Cooler

Seven no nonsense book launch tips


Sun Shine DownI am launching a book.

My memoir, Sun Shine Down, published at the end of August with T. S. Poetry Press. Eeek!

As a broke, green as the grass in mid-July first time author, I tackled the daunting assignment of launching a book like any other able-minded individual in North America.

I googled ‘book launch.’

In .02 seconds, reputable results-driven marketing and publicity firms jumped into my line of vision. These people surely could launch my book into the stratosphere!

But after some number crunching and a realistic talk with my husband about where hiring a publicist falls in the needs of a family of six (braces, soccer, therapy, FOOD), I conceded. We could not hire help for Sun Shine Down.

These days, whether we sign with a big publisher, a small press, or self-publish, we bear much of the responsibility for launching our own books…

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My Friday Night Exercise

21 Sep

*Pant, pant, gasp*

We just got home from the Senior Center dance.

Where’s my water bottle?

My feet hurt, my right calf is about half a step away from cramping, and I couldn’t be happier.

Tonight was the drummer’s birthday. His birthday request was that the cover charge be waived. So tonight’s outing was free. There was the usual pot-luck fare at the 8:30 intermission, plus a big, chocolate birthday cake. (I was a good girl and only stole one bite from Lonnie’s piece.)

The treasurer has just had a minor foot surgery so she couldn’t really get out and dance much (although she did manage a subdued twist). She asked a few of the ladies to take her place and keep her husband on the dance floor. I’d only danced with him a couple of times before. I think he does a country version of a waltz, which I’m not used to, but he leads so well I had no problem following.

So not only am I learning the two-step, but now I am fascinated with this new kind of waltz.

Next week is a western night. They have a special fiddle player coming in from a couple towns over.

This should be interesting, since I don’t own any cowboy boots, or a fluffy, puffy skirt. Although a sister did give me a shirt a few weeks ago which should work. And my black knee high boots should substitute…sort of. I have a denim skirt, but it’s a little too narrow for wearing to a dance.

I do have a pair of jeans that make my butt look awesome, sooo… yeah.  🙂

*Gasp!* And I have a big belt buckle with roses on it!

Yay! Thanks for listening, y’all. I’ve figured out what I’m going to wear.  😀


Something interesting happened this evening. I answered honestly when a couple people asked me what I had been doing recently. I straight up told them that I have been working on getting a book of bathroom poetry published on Amazon. Seriously, I thought it was just going to be glossed over with a “oh, how nice for you”. Nope. As far as I can tell I’m going to have to take a box of books to autograph for several people at the Senior Center as soon as I can get things worked around to getting that thing on the print-on-demand option. I was also told that they wouldn’t want them as gifts. They want to pay for their copies!

Mind Blown

So that was an ego boost.  🙂


Alright. I’ve had time for the muscles in my legs to quit twitching from the torture. It’s time to take these tired tootsies to bed.

I hope you guys all have amazing weekends! I’m sure as heck am going to figure out a way to have some more fun.  😀



On The Long Game – A Guest Post By Laura Oliva

6 Sep
Here's a photo of her saucy self.

Here’s a photo of her saucy self.

You remember the cover reveal we did here a little while ago? Here’s the author.

I have to admit that my first thought after seeing that her second book was already done was “I hate her.” But on reflection I kind of started to wonder how she does this whole writing thing so dang fast (especially with a toddler at home!).

So after a few days of wondering, I invited her to write a guest post.

Here’s what she has to say about staying creative as a writer:

*            *            *

“There is no rule on how to write.  Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” -Ernest Hemingway

It’s that time again.

Fall is in the air.  The sun is shining.  The leaves are changing.  And I am sitting down to start another book.

I crack my knuckles, position my coffee cup within reach, and set my hands to the keyboard.  The unique pleasure of creation crackles through me.  I hunch over the table.  And then…


I look around.  The table is filthy.  The floor hasn’t been mopped in ages.  My chair has no lumbar support; I can feel my spine begin to telescope the longer I sit.  Rattled, I take a sip of coffee.  It tastes terrible.  And as if that’s not bad enough, it’s getting cold.  The panic every writer knows all too well starts to build.

What if I can’t do this again?

The Muse is a fickle mistress, as any writer, artist, or musician will tell you.  Jungian analyst and writer Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls it Rio Abajo Rio, the River Beneath the River.  It’s an apt metaphor.  One minute we can be swimming along, basking in our creative groove, and the next…

Nothing.  The water disappears underground, and we’re left gasping on a dry riverbank.

So what do you do?  You could sit and wait for your river to surface again.  Lots of writers do.  But when might that happen?  Sometimes, waiting is just not an option.  What if you have goals?  Deadlines?  Diapers to change?  You need every second of writing time you can get.

Every writer I know has their own little bag of tricks: tried-and-true ways to get The Muse back on the chain gang when she’d rather stay home and do her nails.  Many of us utilize the same tools; music, visuals, voodoo, et cetera.  Here, for your reading pleasure, is my personal survival kit:

A Picture Is Worth… Well, You Know.  I’ve always been a very visual person.  When I was younger, oil painting was my creative outlet of choice.  Now I write more than I paint, but I remain compelled by the power of a good picture. 

Most recently, I have become an unabashed Pinterest addict.  The ability to curate pictures that inspire my writing is truly priceless.  On days when I feel my creativity dwindling, you can usually find me on Pinterest, scrolling through old pictures and finding new ones.  This alone is usually enough to snap me out of a slump.

The Right Note.  Music is a daily routine for me.  I have a playlist for each book I write, and I’m constantly on the hunt for songs that capture the tone of my projects.

Ironically, I rarely listen to them while I’m actually writing.  Rather, I play them all the rest of the time: running errands, cooking dinner, or just driving around.  I’m convinced this helps them seep into my subconscious to emerge later, when I do sit down to write.

What Do You Want?  You’ve probably heard this from every teacher, life coach, and college professor you’ve ever met, but you need goals.  This is true of life in general, but it’s especially so in writing.

Embarking on a writing career is a long game.  It’s not easy, and it’s not quick.  If you don’t have something on the horizon to keep your eye on, it gets very difficult to stay motivated enough to continue.  So what do you want?  Be as specific as possible.

Then take a deep breath, and dive in.

 *            *            *

Thanks, Laura!  (lol, Voodoo.)

*            *            *

Want more?

Laura’s Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/lauraoliva

Her website: www.lauraolivabooks.com

And on Twitter: @writermama


Limited Internet Access = A Cleaner House

18 Apr
My world has been spinning kinda funky without lots of internet time.

My world has been spinning kinda funky without lots of internet time.

It’s not quite that simple, but when it all boils down that’s what it adds up to.

My computer has a little switch on the front that turns on it’s search for wifi. The switch will no longer turn on. Bummer. My poor old computer isn’t really fast when it comes to the internet, but it would struggle along and I could accomplish everything I needed.

However, my husband’s computer (which I am borrowing for an hour or two an afternoon) really does not like Twitter, and Tweetdeck about sends it into a seizure.

So, now that I have several hours a day to kill, I have time to read the book Sink Reflections, by Marla Cilley — The FlyLady.  My mom sent the book home with me last Wednesday after her order of FlyLady cleaning supplies came in, and I got engrossed in the book while helping her put her supplies away.

Over the last several days I have totally cleaned my kitchen sink, set up a small morning routine to keep a couple parts of my house consistently clean, and my husband is being fed breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.

Lonnie is going to see if he can bypass the switch and get me internet access again. Here’s hoping that it won’t sweep away my new found housekeeping habits.

Now it’s off to start chicken cooking and to figure out a couple of side dishes. Wish me luck!


Her Rest Room

14 Feb

It is time once again for a couple more poems from my book My Ignored Hamper and other Bathroom Poetry.

  I hope you enjoy them!

Her Rest Room


Her little ones play on the floor

Just outside the bathroom door

One minute of quiet

Two minutes of peace

She could hold it no longer

The urge had grown stronger

One minute of quiet

Two minutes of peace

As she pats her hands dry

She thinks with a sigh

One minute of quiet

Two minutes of peace



Sleep-over Blues


With music up loud

‘Round the mirror they crowd

“That look is a winner”

“I wish I were thinner”

“There’s this really cute boy”

“He treats girls like they’re toys”

It’s Saturday night

They share the spotlight

In their fifth outfit

And wouldn’t you know it

The bathroom is crowded

“It’s here!” someone shouted

The pizza devoured

They’re now soda powered

Six girls in a bathroom

All trying out perfume

“Should we pop in a movie?”

“Let’s make-over Suzie!”

And so it continues

Dad’s sleep-over blues


*      *      *

I’m hoping to get this group of poems formatted and onto Amazon by the first week of March.  Heh.  Fingers crossed.

Please let me know what you think of these two poems.

*      *      *

To read the other poems I have posted on this blog you can go Here and Here.

Cupcakes and Babies

12 Jan

It’s official! I have survived my second annual 28th birthday.  The sister just younger than me threw me a party.  It was a sleepover party.  Pizza, tea, and cupcakes; talking, games, and episodes of mutually enjoyed shows.  A nice relaxing night, led to trying to stay awake longer than the little ones so we could have something other than G rated fun.  Didn’t really happen, though.  We watched one episode of Numbers and the latest Dr. Who Christmas Special and we were toast.  By that point it was after two and we kinda gave up and rolled over in our sleeping bags.

I was awakened the next morning by a half naked baby boy bumping into me and laughing his head off because his living room floor was littered with most of his favorite women.  My breakfast was two bowls of chocolaty cereal, followed by scrambled eggs a couple hours later.  Mmm, scrambled eggs.

Not much in the gift department, but I already got what I wanted, thought put into a birthday party.  What I did get was a gift certificate for Amazon and a future lunch out with a friend.  Sweet!

*        *        *

On another subject, due to a build up of circumstances it appears we will have to do a factory reset on my computer.  Add to that the fact that we had to reclaim our wireless after someone in the neighborhood high-jacked it and changed the password.  So, we don’t have wireless, my computer has no antivirus program, and the poor old thing is in dire need of some help.  We’ll get through it, it’ll just take a little time, and some sharing of the computers that are working correctly (and the direct line to the router).

*      *      *

Until next time…

How has the beginning of 2013 been for you so far?

Done much writing, dancing, or laughing?





Releasing My First Poem into the World

3 Dec
A cool photo editing accident

A cool photo editing accident

This is the first poem of several which I will be sharing on this blog.  They are pieces of a collection which I am considering calling My Ignored Hamper, and Other Bathroom Poetry.  Hopefully this little book of poems will be able to be uploaded to Amazon in time for a February 1st launch date.  Fingers crossed!

Let me know know what you think.

(Please remember to be kind to this fledgling author.  It took a lot of work just to get myself to the point where I could show any of my writing to family, so if you have anything negative to say please hide it in a spoon full of sugar.)

My Ignored Hamper

The clothes they have shed?

On the floor looking dead

Ignoring the hamper

To the tub they do scamper

Their clothes in a heap

Into bubbles they leap

When they’re asleep

I’ll let my tea steep

It’ll take just a minute

To put the clothes in it

But for now I’ll enjoy

My two little boys

Until Next Time…

What kind of reaction did you receive toward your first step into the world of writing (blogging, and creative writing/English classes count in this question)?

Are you also a fledgling (or not so fledgling) artiste working up the guts to show some of your work to carefully selected critics, or even preparing for the potentially scary act of  allowing the World to see your precious creation?