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You have probably heard the phrase..Seize the day….however…Can you think of a moment of happiness …that took you by surprise???….A  moment of surprise that you can actually say…seized you???

Tonight I had exactly a moment like that…I was surprised…over come….seized by the moment!!!  Our book club meeting was at my home this evening…The Happiness Project was the book we talked about…and in that chat I had mentioned that…something I would love to do is… to fly a kite!…The evening carried on…good wine…great food..and a few hours later…once the evening was just about over… and everyone began  packing up…one friend said she had a little something for me…Hmm…this was strange…and very interesting…why only for me I wondered…what ever could it be???

She ran out to her car….and…a few minutes later she returned to the  house with a bag in hand….She told us said she had done some house cleaning…and…had a few items in her car to bring to the thrift shop…however…she decided  this one item would be best if  given to me…We were all still wondering…what might it be…and then she told us…

A kite….It was a kite…she was giving me a KITE!!!

Now…is that synchronicity…serendipity…coincidence…karma…or what????…

I think we all were in awe of the event for a moment…and  I…I was so thrilled that …without even thinking …I gave her a big hug…and then we all laughed…Yes I was seized by that moment…how could I not have been????…Here we were …talking about happiness…and my evening ended with me surprised and thoroughly taken/seized by an unexpected  moment of happiness!!

So what about you???…any such moments of late??…Have you ever been the person to give  such a moment to someone else???… …Have you been the receiver of such a moment of surprise???

That has me wondering if…Is it possible for each and every one of us ….to make such moments occur…or…are such moments completely out of our hands???…Do we each have the capacity to be able to make happy moments for others???

Once the weather cooperates…you will find me out in a field….flying my newly acquired, gently used, kite!!!

Thanks to (V)…for providing us all with a moment of happiness.

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Check out my new visitor counters that show countries visitors are from ….I am now curious to see what shows up ..I know I have had visitors from  places other than Canada…hmmm…I’ll just have to wait and see. Calling visitors from around the globe to check in!!!!

Yes, I had a dream…and it was a bit unsettling….My husband had moved us to some small town in Manitoba….he rented us a very old dilapidated house …our new home….and I kept saying….I will get used to it…I will get used to it…and all the time I just wanted to be back home in Morden…..

Where do these thoughts come from???….Was it something I heard or saw the day before…or was it something I ate…maybe the peach I had for my evening snack…who knows…very weird….didn’t like this one at all. I was so happy to wake up in my bed in my wonderful house!!!….dreams…sometimes they are better than reality and other times….I just wish I didn’t remember them__

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A Best seller is a book, recording, etc. currently outselling most others.

Best seller….I have never really thought much about best sellers…I did read an article once and it was talking about books… and asked the question….are sales boosted if they are on a best seller list or if they win awards??….That same article then went on to ask…name a book that has been on the best seller list this month….or name the last book you read that had won an award and concluded that most people could not. This person’s opinion is that….no…these things do not boost sales.

Well, I just found out that my Sam’s Weird Afternoon is on the Winnipeg McNally Robinson ….best seller list… for children’s books  !!!!   I am number 5 on a list where Robert Munsch is 1 and 2.  In the company of Robert Munsch!!!!  I am thrilled.  

 It may not be the fact that a book is on a best seller list that helps sales….but it sure does give an author and his/her book much more exposure and media time and that can’t be all that bad…and the other bonus is the exhilaration and author  gets when your book sales have  been going well.

So….does a bet seller list sell more books???….I started thinking about the fact that … finding oneself on such a list …motivates a person to want to try and reach that goal once again….It makes me want to get out there and keep marketing even more…and with that I would hope that an increase in sales might follow….and so…that makes be believe that such lists can…yes…indirectly increse sales.

So if you were to ask me….Sally…do you care if you are on a best seller list or if you win an award for your book??….my answer….would be …without hesitation….yes,yes, yes!!!

Change of subject now….my baby birds…the chipping sparrows…..breaking news….

On Thursday as I went to check on the nest…one teeny weeny little bird flew out into my garden.

On Friday when I looked again only two of the four baby birds were still in the nest.

On Saturday the nest was empty and I could hear peeping coming from my garden as the parents flew back and forth feeding them seeds.

On Sunday one little bird was out on our lawn…skawking away until the parent showed up to feed it. I took a few pictures and then shooed it into the garden where it would me less vulnerable.  We heard them crying out all day today as the parents were busily trying to feed them all.

I went to have a look at the nest this afternoon and was so sad to see one baby bird in the nest, it had died. I wonder how many of the four actually will make it to maturity?????

 

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 Number two in my collection of odd couples….

Calendar….definition

  • a system of timekeeping that defines the beginning and length and divisions of the year
  • a list or register of events (appointments or social events or court cases etc); “I have you on my calendar for next Monday”
  • enter into a calendar
  • a tabular array of the days (usually for one year)
  • I wonder if you are anything like me…owning and using a calendar filled with appointments, events, tasks, deadlines and so on. If you are like me you would be lost without it. It is my system to get through life without forgetting tasks and events.

    Every Sunday nite I review my calendar to check what is scheduled for the coming week. Will I have to be up and out of the house early some days..any lunches planned…any birthdays to remember….do I have any evening activities I must attend.??? …And even knowing all of that I still have to look at it first thing in each morning to be sure of that day.

    For me there is some form of comfort in having my calendar close at hand. Would I remember everything if I didn’t have a calendar???… Am I just getting to the age when I NEED a calendar???…or am I just so used to having it to count on that I don’t even try to remember the info anymore????

    I have misplaced it a few times but have always found it.  For 2010 I bought a larger day timer…with all the book tasks and events coming up I seem to need more room to write everything down.

    How about you??? ….Do you have a system of timekeeping??…Do you use a day timer/calendar to keep you on track??…Or maybe you are more high-tech and carry a device with you such as a blackberry or Ipad….or Are you able to keep it all organized in your head still??…or are you inbetween….not always remembering but not wanting to give in yet.

    Maybe you are like the person who has put off getting tested for glasses only to find out how much clearer life can really be. ..or in this case…how much simpler…less stressful life can be…unless of course you are always misplacing items.

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    This is the last of  the manicures…tomorrow I will begin with a new virtual collection for you…

    TOKYO - NOVEMBER 30: A competitor shows her nails with Swan designs during the Tokyo Nail Expo 2009 at Tokyo Big Sight on November 30, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan. The nail industry has grown to nearly 200 million Japanese yen market in 2008 and the annual event attracts 50,000 visitor. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

    Yes…a local book launch for Sam’s Weird Afternoon is coming up this month.  A local business asked me if I would like to have it at her business….I was thrilled and of course said yes. So here is the date…time and place.

    If you live in the area…please come…everyone  is invited !!!

    April 21st…7-9pm                                                                                                     PosersGallery                                                                                                                               Stephen St.                                                                                                                    Morden, Manitoba

    Now I have things I must do  to get ready for it….

    Baking for the evening….order a cake….make more bookmarks for the store to hand out…print off a few posters…finish my quilted banner…glue Sam to rock….finish cloth Sam doll…buy new outfit..buy napkins and plates., article to local paper.  

    I don’t know what I have done because I feel like many of these tasks …I have been working on for some time now. But then, none of them are one day…one week jobs. Wheww…that makes me feel better.  

    Hmmm…I wonder how my book launch will go???…Will you be having a book launch???…What did you have to do to be ready???..was it a fun time??…did you have a good turnout???  Would you do it again if you had another book???  Ok now…holiday time draws near.

      I wonder if there are book launches for dictionaries??

    With Easter on its way I am possibly going to have to take a break from blogging…big family dinner at our home tomorrow….dinner at friend’s home on Saturday and Sunday….Easter!! 

    If I have a chance I may find time to at least put in another one of my collections of interesting manicures…

    To all  have a very Happy Easter weekend…and if the Easter Bunny shows up at your house…don’t eat too many sweets.

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    I once collected buttons with no real measurable goal. Now I have jars and jars of them. They look pretty sitting on the shelf...but don't really have anything to do with them>

    Goals

     

     

    a goal is an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe.

    We have all set goals for ourselves over the years…as I have…with some being met and others not.  So it made me wonder why?

    I suppose some are easy and others are more difficult to meet…some we are passionate about and others are not…some are we enjoy working toward and others seem to be just plain work…some take a long time to meet and others not…sometimes we stay on course and other times we get sidetracked..other times we become discouraged and let the goal slip away or change it .  Goals… we all have them.

     

    For me, writing my story was fun, trying to get someone to publish it seemed easy, getting through the publishing process was long, planning a marketing strategy became a passion of mine and now …my next goal is planning events and selling my book.

    I wonder…how will I be with this??…Will I be able to stay on track??…Will I get discouraged??…Will this be fun??…Will it be too much work??  Lots of questions.

    So …I suppose I should have a more concrete goal than just…sell books.  If I remember from what I have leaned int the past…a goal should be measurable and attainable. I also remember something about…reevaluating  it on a regular basis and making changes if needed.  

     If that is so….maybe I should put a number on my goal ….like….I want to sell 50 books…or 100 books…or 500 books????  All of these are measurable but attainable????…I suppose it depends how much I want to put into it.

    If you don’t know where you are going. How can you expect to get there?

     Basil S. Walsh

    I will think about that for a while and try to come up with a measurable goal/expectation  for me over the next year…the first year of my book and Sam.

    And I must also remember what they say ……if you keep doing the same thing you will keep getting the same results. So reaching my goal may mean changing up my strategy once in a while.

    Map out your future, but do it in pencil.  ~Jon Bon Jovi

    How about you???…are you working toward a goal right now??…Is it measurable and attainable??…Is your strategy to attain it ….working for you????

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    And now …for your daily dose of caffine…..

    Yes it is Monday again and time for a new word. This week it will be a small on again…so that maybe I will be able to remember it and use it some time……

    ADZ    … a cutting tool

    Now how is that for a good Scrabble word????

    Today I spent quite a few hours and 3 cups of coffee …working on this …my to be quilted Sam banner.  So far I had to redo the head and the arms. Next will be the dotted shoe laces and then the face.

    When I started getting a book published little did I know I would get so involved in the character Sam.  He sure is keeping me busy and out of trouble.

    Today I have a bit of ….Cabin fever  a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in,for an extended period [1]The phrase is also used humorously to indicate simple boredom from being home alone.[2] The term was first recorded in 1918.[3] Other references have the term in use at least to 1906. An 1820 reference is to an actual fever, common in Ireland, resulting from eating watery potatoes during wet years.

    I am going to have to make a call or two this week …just to get out of the house and have lunch with a friend or something!!!  I feel like Sam has kept me way too busy and I need to get out of the house….

    Not feeling too pensive today and so will just leave you all with this…

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    Options….

    teeny , weeny pin cushions

    The act of choosing; choice… The power or freedom to choose… The exclusive right, usually obtained for a fee.

    We are often faced with having to decide on options before us. Some are easy and some more difficult. Sometimes our options can be many and sometimes just a few…some we make instantly and others we mull over for days….and all options have consequences..How do we know if we have chosen the right one??? Is there a right one??? Or is there  just… the one that is right… for us…at that moment!!???

    Well, I have been confronted with some options which means more decision-making once again. Upon talking with marketing, I asked …”If I were to buy a amount of books, are there any free items such as posters or bookmarks that might come along with them?” 

    You don’t know if  you don’t ask.

    Tate Marketing  sent me an email…saying yes…and I was given 3 options to choose from…and free as a part of my contract. I had an idea of what they might be and had a good idea what I would choose. However, I was surprised at what they said.

    The response to my question was very different …options I  had not even considered  were ….being…a mixture of a number of interesting choices… a free web site, free books, free  30 second trailer, or free airings of the trailer on National (US) networks.

    Really, what are the options? Levi’s or Wranglers. And you just pick one. It’s one of those life choices.
    Harrison Ford

    So I thought ….hummmm….website???…I already have one….free books??…now that’ a thought…..free trailer???…I like that idea…or free airings of the trailer????…I don’t think I could afford this on my own.

    It’s easy to make good decisions when there are no bad options.
    Robert Half

    The free books I suppose I would use to send out to key people who might promote it…but I can do that myself  for a reasonable cost, however…a trailer and  TV airings of it !!  That would give exposure in a whole new and different way. So my decision on the options was quite simple….Airings of course!!!

    Everything computes – you have options, but you always take the right one.
    John McEnroe

    Is that true?  Do we always take the right ones??? Do we ever really know which is the right one???  Does that mean that no matter which one you take…if you take it…it is the right one for you??…or…is it always the right one…because you  believe it is???…or…is it your attitude toward it that makes it the right one???

    Someone once told me… look at the options…choose one….forget about the others and keep on going.

    If we don’t move on , will we EVER feel we  made the right one (option)???  Do you alow those phrases to creep  into your  head….if only I had…I wonder if…maybe it would have been better if….I’m sorry I didn’t ….it could have been different if only I had.???

    For me…today…I have already forgotten the other options presented to me…this one was easy….hopefully the next option/choice I have to make with my book will be just as easy.

    Are you in the midst of options and choosing one???  Believe….that which ever one you make…it’s  the right one….

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    Gosh…here is some more weird , funny stuff….I have to get cracking on new collections. I should have time tomorrow to at least start one….until then …enjoy

    the thinnest house

     

    “The Internet is not just one thing, it’s a collection of things – of numerous communications networks that all speak the same digital language.” Jim Clark

    Before I begin…I have to tell you….yesterday I received my copy of Whispers on the Wind…with my poem…Infinite Calm in it. Another writing endeavor…finished. Very cool to see my poem in a published book!!!

    The internet is a wonderful concept…a concept that could be seen, way before it’s time in the old sci-fi movies. And now there are programs such as SKYPE….I remember seeing that occur many decades ago as well in movies and TV….remember the talking  picture phone!!! 

    I don’t think about it too much except at times like this….when I will not have internet access for over a week!  I am going to feel so unconnected. Yes, sorry to say you will not hear from me for a bit…but I can assure you that when I return there will be more news on the book publishing, more weird hats for me to share and more weird things in Sam’s collection as well.

    Words… my dear friend Susan passed a book on to me…a book about words.  I am hoping there will be some interesting info. in it that I can share with all of you when I am back on the internet later this month.

    So…until then…I am going to miss my daily posting. I may actually write one or two posts  on paper with a pen!!!…yes…paper…until I have internet access once again. How novel is that?  Oh how Funny…….novel…book…Sam

    Speaking of novel…funny….here is more of my latest collection….

    So…until my return in mid February….be good…be healthy…be kind.

     

    These are shoe laces that can be found in my story book...Sam's Weird Afternoon.

     

     

    Art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes. 

    Kahlil Gibran

     After much consideration of  my book cover choices, and after having some small changes made on one of them, I am just about to approve it.  A few more little changes and I will just love it…and the decision-making will be over. Whew…

    My illustrator and cover and layout design person have been stellar. They have come up with options I would never had thought of and quickly made the changes they could ….and so like the quote says…together we are making new shapes.

    It has been more stressful than I would have thought..finalizing a book cover picture…..mostly  because because of me… I was having difficulty agreeing on a few parts of the cover picture…and also because I did not understand why the illustrator seemed to only hear certain issues of mine. He finally explained some things to me, and with those facts , I was able to have a different perspective on the cover, my thinking and  what is really important. I was able to let some things go in exchange for some others.

    A little give and take by all parties and my vision has been expanded.

    How about your vision…your art, has it found a new shape?

    It really is true that….two heads are better than one!!!

     

    And now….shoes…

    Ouch!

    Ouch, ouch!!!

    ~You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough. ~

     Frank Crane
     
    Trust… What happens if we don’t trust and what is that makes  trusting at time so difficult?  Why are some people easier to trust than others and  are you someone who can be trusted on?  Can someone be trusted in one situation and not in another? And why would that be?  Is it easier to trust someone if you know them well? Should you trust a stranger? 
     
    Lots of questions and today I found out the answer to a few..

    Sam’s Weird Afternoon is coming along and Yesterday I received three options for a book cover from the design and layout staff person. I was excited and quickly opened up the email . The three options  staring  up at me turned my excitement to worry, I had concerns. The concerns were not about the cover layout, not about the cover concept, not about the cover colors used., in fact, I loved the covers and the concepts used….but I had concerns about Sam!!!

    What happened to my Sam?  The Sam I was looking at in these illustrations was not MY Sam. He was older and taller and looked more like one of the illustrations I received before the illustrator worked with me to change and develop the finished character.. The changes that made Sam… were little tweaks…but the little tweaks that made me love the finalized character. Oh No!…was my first reaction and I became a bit concerned…in fact….very concerned!  But should I have been?

    Being the end of the day I sent a quick email back explaining very nicely that  the wrong Sam illustration was on the cover…and I went on to clearly explain what was different about him. I was very upset and concerned but tried not to let that show in the email. And  then I realized…polka dot shoe laces.!!!! .

    .Sam was to be wearing  the polka dot shoe laces, like the ones I bought for book signings, that were to be on his feet, on the cover!  But instead they had decided to put tall plaid boots on him.  this is not good I thought ..that is just not going to work.   So I tried once again, very nicely to explain my lace concerns as well …and  I began to wonder …what if changes were not possible?  It had all gone so smoothly up to now and the staff were very easy to work with…but this was big. I began to question and make Assumptions. Assumptions that things were about to go very wrong and that fixing this was not possible. I began not to trust the publishing staff.

    When my husband came home….I had gotten myself all worked up . “It’s Sam” I said….”they have the wrong Sam!!”  After quietly listening to me , he said ” calm down and stop worrying…,  changes will be made, trust the publishing staff, they have been so very good so far”, he said, several times until I realized how true , all he was saying actually  was.

    But I had to wonder …..How did I let this happen?  How did making a book go from enjoyable  to stressful? It was then I realized..emotions…my emotions.  I had allowed my emotions to interfere with the l goal and I had begun to assume the worst and not trust.

      Then my husband said …” Don’t assume they WON”T  make the changes”,  if you are going to assume anything, assume that  they ARE GOING TO make the changes . I suddenly became very happy that I stayed with the facts when contacting my illustrator and cover designer and kept my emotions at home.

    Today after a few emails back and forth, the illustrator informed me…I was right about Sam and he would be making the changes for me. Not only that but …I asked the cover designer if we could make a few changes on one of the cover I liked and ..she agreed to try. How easy that was. I must remember this.

    The Publishing process for my book is not yet over. There may be more issues to deal with. I am going to stay positive and trust. Trust that we are all on the same team , aiming for the same goal…a great book. After all, making books is their job.

    Tonight I gave my husband a big hug and told him he was the most important person in my life.  He looked at me , smiled and said…”After Sam that is.”  And we both laughed.

    How does a person come up with something hairy like this?? However...Double steletto heals. Now that might be a good idea.

     

    Now, these would match with just about any outfit.

     

    Ladybugs are a symbol of luck..or at least that is what I remember. Here are some for you.

    I have no word for the week right now, and will think about it later. If you have a good one I can use, feel free to share.

    Yesterday I maxed myself out at the computer.I think I put in enough hours, into working on my book marketing that I could give myself a day off if I really wanted to. I have begun 4 new email lists to use when my book comes out. I was having so much fun and the more I thought the more ideas I came up with. While on the internet I happened upon a blog about a little guy named Sam who is living with a debilitating disease. I emailed his mom for an address where I can send one of my books to him.I hope to hear from the mom very soon.

    I have read over and over  that it is a good idea to give some free books away. But my question is..how many is the right amount?  There is one account of a writer who sent out hundreds of her books. She later had sales of thousands and thousands of them. My question is…was it the free books sent out that caused such sales or would that have occurred regardless?  I have heard from some authors who are unhappy with sales of their book and have actually said they find it very depressing. Making marketing decisions, I believe, is a game of roulette…you never know what the outcome will be. But I do belive you have to take some risks and just stay as positive you can. If nothing else, at least you will feel good.

    Now I know… that there are some already published authors out  there thinking…oh sure….nice to be so positive when you don’t even have a book on the market yet !  That may be so, however,  after getting through three bouts of cancer, I know I would rather be the person who falls down the stairs, smiles and thinks, could have been worse….than the one who falls down the stairs, grumbles and complains about how bad it hurts.

    Now a bit about blogs. Setting up a blog and actually writing in it was not something I really was looking forward to, but everything I read said it is something every writer MUST do.  So I bit the bullet and  now after a few months  am finding it to be fun, interesting and a great way to expand my knowledge. If you have not already developed one and you have a book to sell, consider it. You can go to wordpress.com and for free, develop your own. Try it…it is actually a lot of fun.

    Hmmm… I wonder what a writer used to do to market a book before the internet? We are so fortunate to be so connected with the rest  of the world. I believe that having a blog/website is a necessity in today’s world. After spending a week with my daughter who was attached to her phone and computer and texting like there was no tomorrow, it proved to me that communicating using all the technology out there is the way of future generations.

     I continue to brainstorm about Sam’s Weird Afternoon and  it came  to me that  my book is about lot of weird shoes so maybe I should  see if I could find the weirdest possible shoes available out there. I have to tell you, I found some very funky footwear and decided I would share them with you….starting tomorrow.

    Crepitus

    Crep’i·tus noun [ Latin , from crepare to crack.]

    A grating sound and sensation created when two rough surfaces in the human body come into contact – for example, in osteoarthritic joints or fractured bones rub together.     or……

     The noise produced by a sudden discharge of wind from the bowels.

    for all of you wanna be writers out there…here is a site with some good info. I believe the more you read, on how to do it, the better you will become at doing it…writing that is. Of course you can’t spend all your time reading….especially if you are in the very process of writing. But we all have down times…and that is when to check sites like this out.  You might want to bookmark it for a rainy day. 

     

    Zula and Sage still waiting for Michelle. Me too!

    I have made many email groups …family, close friends, media, bookstores, public libraries, schools, school libraries, newspapers, old

    This little heart chimes when you move it...if you look very close you can see a reflection of me taking the photo. This photo has absolutely nothing to do with book making...but...I thought you might like another photo.

     friends, past coworkers and a few more. Whew….Now I have a  place to put new entries into. I now have 7 more months to keep adding to these lists. I figure ..if I put in 10 a day, by the time my book marketing needs to be done…I may be ready.   This is very tedious and time-consuming. Oh…I shouldn’t  forget that I also started a mailing list for press kits.

    At the present I have no idea what my publisher will be doing for me with  marketing …so I will go on the assumption…not a lot …and that way I may be happily surprised at how they do help me.

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