Thursday, December 29, 2011

Promotions and Books

Do you do book signings? I don't know whether to tell you I love them or hate them. I do enjoy meeting people and talking about my books, but they can be a lot of work. I like book fairs even less. There's the same possibility for talking to people, but at book fairs they aren't just there to see you. They're there to see EVERYBODY. You have to really find a way to stand out from the crowd. I like to offer little goodie bags with magnets, bookmarks and things. Those are all pretty common items at a book fair though. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to come up with some original stuff. Things like lapel pins go over really big. The big plus to having something like that is, if they're attractive enough, and people wear them, they become walking billboards for your book, or you. It can be a tough choice to decide which to promote when going to events like that. At book signings you are basically there to promote the current book, but at fairs you should really be promoting your entire collection, and making your name known. Whether you opt for name recognition or book promo, pins, pens and other goodies make great gifts for viewers.

One of Those Days

I'm having one of those right now. I just spent an hour working on an article for a client, then realized it is on the same subject I did a few months back for them. So I had to trash all that work and start over again on a new piece. Doesn't it just make you tired to even think about it? Such is the life of a freelance writer. It's worth the headache though. I get to work from home, and when I get really frustrated, I can just go out and take a walk or even take a nap. Try doing that from an office.

Writer's Block? Move!

Once in awhile you need to take a break from sitting behind your desk and pounding away at the keys. Whether you are writing fiction, or plugging away at a non-fiction piece, get out and experience the world. Put on your jansport backpacks and take a hike in the woods, or jog around the block. It's great just to get out and get moving a bit. If you've run into a mental block, taking a walk or jog is a great mind boost. It helps stimulate oxygen to the brain, and you'll be surprised how much it helps to relieve those nasty writer's block blues.

Get Moving While Staying Seated

If you spend long days at your desk like I do, you may feel like you're forever planted in your chair. It may feel like you don't have any way to exercise, but here's a video for you to get your blood pumping and help your circulation while you're writing away.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coin Collecting

I have a cache of old "peace" dollars. They are worth more than their face value now, but I'm hoping they will increase even more as times goes on. A little nest egg for retirement years. I'm also considering if its a good idea to buy morgan dollars to increase my collection. Morgan dollars are worth more than peace dollars, so may really add to my collection for retirement. Collecting these precious coins is more complicated than you might think. When I first started collecting the peace dollars I thought they were all worth the same, but that's not true. There are only certain years that have the most value. Others may be worth a little more than face value, but not as much as the other years. There are great places online to find out the value of old coins you have. Once you get into it, the thought of increasing your collection becomes very attractive, and it's a lot of fun too.

Illinois blues

I've been having a little trouble getting motivated to work this month. I don't know if it's the cold weather, my ramped up exercise program and renewed focus on other things, or a combination of both, but it's really cramping my style. I have work to do, and I get it done, but much slower than normal. I think the weather, and shortened days has the most to do with it. I really don't like winter. I need to move somewhere more stable weather wise, but it seems like I am destined to stay in Illinois my whole life sometimes.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Finding Everything at My Fingertips

One of the things I love the most about the Internet, besides being able to work from home, and watch videos, talk to friends and play games is that I can find things I need easily. The Internet is way better than the yellow pages. If I need an electrician, a carpenter, an appliance store or anything at all, I just have to look it up online. If I needed someone to clean my carpet in North Carolina, I just look up carpet cleaners cary nc. If I want someone to work on my boat engine, I just look for marine mechanics in my general area. It's so easy and I've found that while not every business is online, most are, and the ones that aren't I probably don't want to deal with anyway.

Storing Fat

Okay, I'm not going to turn this into a weight loss blog or anything, but I just happened to see this and it was very revealing.

Great Deals Right From Home

Do we really need a new excuse to shop online? I don't really, but I do love to save money, and there's no better way than to do what those otherwise normal people do on the Friday after Thanksgiving... wait for the big holiday sale: Cyber Monday. What could be better? The ability to shop from my living room, and save money at the same time? At least I can be pretty sure no one will rush through my living room, try to grab my computer out of my hands as I buy a pair of socks, or spray me with mace to get the new camcorder on sale. Cyber Monday--all the benefits of that other day with none of the danger and hassle. I don't even have to drive.

Off Again, and On a Roll

Okay, I survived Thanksgiving and a very nice dinner at my niece's apartment without gaining weight, and am off to a really good start on this diet. I hope it keeps up so I don't get discouraged again. I've seen some things these last two weeks that really make me want to stick with it this time. I don't want to end up in the kind of shape some of the people I've seen on TV end up in. The scary thing is, if I don't put the brakes on I can see it happening. I'm just too old to handle even the weight I am now. When I was younger, I could carry it, but as I get older I seem to have less strength to handle it.