Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fish and Drumsticks

I love the show Tanked on A&E. It showcases unusual fishtank builds by a popular company in Nevada. One of the shows recently showed a mix of my two favorite things, music and fish. The company had to create a fishtank out of a drum set. That's right, a full drum set that was turned into a bunch of individual fishtanks, set up like a regulation drum set and actually played too. They even had fish that looked like the Drumsticks Bass at Musicians Friend.

Of course it was purely for display. No one could do something like that for a practical set of drums. My grandson wants to take up the drums. My daughter kind of rolls her eyes, but I think it's a great idea. He can keep the beat while my granddaughter plays the guitar. No fish, of course.

Done with Winter

Winter may have just started, technically, but I'm over it already. I can't wait for spring so I can go kayaking and fishing again. Here's to memories from last spring.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Favorite Instruments

I've mentioned more than a few times that I played guitar as a teen. It was my main instrument, but it wasn't the only one. I also played flute in junior and senior high school band. I had wanted to play saxaphone, that just seemed like such a sexy instrument, but there were no seats for sax so I had to settle for the flute. Well, settling wasn't an issue once I learned how wonderful the delicious sounds of the flute were. I still enjoy listening to the flute.

Perhaps I should get Alexis to try the flute when she starts junior high next year. As a band instrument it is one of my favorites.
We could take a look at some of the opportunities to buy yamaha flute accessories and get her set up, maybe even get her a starter flute to begin learning on before school starts next year. I also played piano. That's how I met my husband, but of all the instruments I've played, in order it would be guitar, flute and then piano and organ as favorites.

That Dog

I love my dog. Before getting her, I did a lot of research on Papillons, the breed she is. The information all pointed to these dogs being very intelligent. In fact, they are ranked #2 right behind poodles as the most intelligent dog breed. I've never owned poodles, but I've been around quite a few and knew they as a whole seemed very easy to train, so I expected that my new Papillon puppy would be as well.

She was. I can only remember once that she went potty in the house even as a small puppy, and she learns quickly when I attempt to teach her anything. What surprised me most was that quick learning isn't the only hallmark of an extremely intelligent dog. This dog doesn't wait to be taught, she teaches herself new behaviors all the time. It never ceases to amaze me. Not only does she learn to do things on her own, she also learns from other animals in the house. She has picked up some hilarious movements and behaviors from the cat.

Batty, the papillon is a never-ending source of joy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Sound of Music

Speakers make all the difference when it comes to creating great music. The sound quality can make or break the way music comes out no matter how good you play. I have been trying to explain the importance of speakers to my granddaughter as she learns. She gets a little frustrated, because her sound system isn't as good as it could be. She's just starting out, and young, so it is understandable that her mom wants to be frugal with purchasing new equipment, but I think I know what a good birthday present will be. I'd love to get her some Behringer PA Speakers so she can really experience the sound she's making in the best quality possible.

Quote of the Day

On the lower side of my right sidebar is a Quote of the Day widget. I love the one for today:

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Mark Twain 

Fancy Feet

I would love to live in L.A. I wish I had moved there in my late teens and taken acting and dancing classes like those at The Dance Doctor. Professional dancers have to take  dance classes in los angeles but they're great for anyone who loves to move. I used to take ballet, jazz and tap just for the exercise and fun as well as getting a little extra grace. I've never been all that graceful, but dance classes really helped a lot. When I moved out of the city area, I let that slide since there were no local classes where I lived. Now that I'm back up in the city, I think it's time to start thinking about taking them again just for fun.

Writing Incentives

It gets hard sometimes to find the incentive to write. In the early years it was easy enough, but after almost 2 decades of writing I think the doubts get in the way much more. You would think it would be the opposite, but it's a different kind of doubt than beginning doubts, at least for me.

When I first started writing, there were doubts, but they were all about selling, and if anything I ever wrote would sell. Those doubts are long gone, and in their place is the reality of how things work in the publishing world and even in the new, but now established self-publishing world.

After all these years, though, the doubts are a different breed. They're not about selling. I am an old hand at all types of publishing and pretty solid in marketing. I know what to expect from getting published or self-publishing, both. The doubts are now... this is a familiar story line (there's no such thing as an original concept). I have seen some amazing twists on old concepts, but you start to worry that your "new" twist on a concept isn't fresh enough to warrant writing it.

How do you get over writer's doubt no matter what type it is?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wedding Memories

In the process of doing a little reorganizing and decorating I came across my wedding album. Even after 30 years of marriage, seeing those pictures brings such warmth and joy. It was a great day, even if I don't remember half of it either because I was a little tipsey by the end of the night, or because it was such a worldwind it's hard to remember all of the little things. I think that's probably true for any bride. I was lucky enough to have a great professional photographer in the family, but if you're planning a wedding and don't have a family member who is a professional photographer, that is one area you shouldn't skimp on. Those memories last forever. Thankfully the internet makes it much easier to find just the right person anywhere you need them. For instance, if you're in raleigh, you just look up wedding photographer raleigh in the search engine and you have all of the professional photographers you need to make the best choice for you. Remember to talk to as many individuals as you need to in order to make the choice you feel most comfortable with, and gives you the price you can afford.

Long, Cold Fall Day

It's been a long day, and I've been missing the water here, so I thought I'd share a video from one of our trips this summer

Friday, October 18, 2013

Making the Most out of Spaces

Having a home with small spaces, making the most out of the areas available is important. For the dinning area in the kitchen, a simple table would work, but having a little extra touch of style makes a huge difference in the way the whole room looks. Something as simple as custom printed tablecloths gives the area a classy appearance and makes it look stylized so the small area doesn't stand out as much. I try to do little things like that all over the house. The living room is small, and a coffee table would look cumbersome and take up too much space, but an ottoman with a stylish throw can double as both footrest and coffee table and makes it all look cozy and warm.

Home Insurance Woes

I bought an older home a few years ago, and am still having trouble getting it insured. It's not a mortgage problem since there is no mortgage, but having insurance is that peace of mind you want, right? I never, ever thought much about homes being uninsurable, at least not as a normal home. It's not falling down around itself or anything. It's not in a bad neighborhood. It's not in a hazzard area from flooding or hurricanes or such, although tornadoes do happen, all homes around here have the same hazzard. I've owned many old homes before, and never had this problem. I've read that since the housing collapse in 2008 insurance companies are much, much more difficult than they used to be, so that may be the reason I have never known this issue. All of the previous homes were bought in the 80s and 90s. Still... what a racket.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Making Illegal Legal

With all of the news about immigration laws and ways that immigrants can get legal access to things such as driver's licenses etc, a lot of people are left wondering how to do it. The first thing someone looking to find out about their new rights needs to do is find an attorney in the area they live in. An immigrant in California needs to find immigration lawyers in los angeles, and those in Illinois, in Illinois. The reason it is important to make sure the lawyer you choose is local to where you live, is that the laws, while Federal, may have certain variations from state to state, and even in some cases, city to city.


It's time. It's time to do a reinvention. It seems like about every 10 years in the freelance business, you need to find ways to reinvent the things you do in order to stay in action. I suppose it is no different than any business. Staying the same pretty much means getting passed by. Unless you've got "Classic Coke" or something like that, you can't rely on a lasting market. Even big name markets such as XBox have to keep making new stuff to keep up with the times. Well, it's that time for me. This year has been stagnant writing wise. I still have some tried and true clients, but overall, it isn't as profitable as it was in the last five years. So, it's time to find new horizons and reinvent the things I'm doing.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Stairway to Heaven

I have lived in a lot of houses that have stairs, and as I get older, I have had to worry about the amount and type of stairways involved when looking at a place to live. Ranch houses have been on my "must have" lists lately, but with the availability and higher technology involved with modern stairlifts I can start to change my way of thinking about what I can look for in a home. It would be nice to not have to think about stairs when considering a home. Needing a ranch is okay if you can afford a lot of land for a spread out home, but most homes are fit onto lots and the only way to get floor space is to have it built up and/or down. I've seen the incredible improvements made over the last ten years in lifts and feel like they are a very good way to combat the stairs problem, even with outside stairs going into a home, which is also an issue I have had to watch for in the past. Considering the fact that we are looking for a new place and want to move in the next four to five years, it is a big deal to not have to worry about stairs in the list of things a home must have (or not have).

Cool New Intro

Get a load of the theme song on this. My son's friend made him a personalized song for his gaming channel.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Paddle Faster I Hear Banjo Music

The banjo is an instrument I've always been curious about. I love the sound, but have never actually tried to play one. I spent a lot of years playing different styles of guitars, and have had lots of friends who were muscians, but have never had the chance to try one out. Since there are great deals to save on deering banjo at guitar center it might be a great time to give it a go and see if I can get the hang of the unique form of stringed instrument. If nothing else, it will be fun to take on the boat and play as we float along the river, just to see the reactions of everyone else out there as we go by. Okay, so that's a wicked sense of humor, I really do love banjo music and now is a great time to look into a new instrument.

What is the Alpha Warrior?

The Alpha Warrior is a competitive test of fitness that challenges competitors both mentally and physically. Unlike marathons or mud runs, the Alpha Warrior does not take place over a long distance course. Instead, it takes athletes through a set of severe obstacles that require participants to make use of every muscle set such as upper and lower body or core, as well as challenging their balance and cardio fitness. Several of the obstacles are also created to test the player’s ability to overcome fear and in some cases work as a team with their competitors. Alpha Warrior courses contain the following sets of obstacles: Monster Barrels Side Winder Sea of Ropes Gut Buster Sky Walk Silver Back Camel Back Battering Rams Slack City Tree Tops Gorilla Bars Alcatraz Fire Escape The Descent Broken Bars Net Crawl Fall Out Speed Ramp The main objective in the Alpha Warrior competition is to make it through every obstacle. What to Expect from the Alpha Warrior Event The Alpha Warrior competitions are held in “waves” over the course of three days. The courses are the same on all three days and individual competitors can choose to run the course on one specific day or to attack all three. Competitors are playing against themselves rather than running in a pack to beat other runners. With the exception of those who run all three days, the Alpha Warrior runs are not timed. There are prizes at each event for top 3 men and top 3 women who complete the course on all three days with the fastest combination of times. However, all competitors who make it through the entire course on each respective day receive a finishing medal, an Alpha Warriors t-shirt, energy bars and even a beer along with the right to brag about their abilities. For participants that wish to complete the full set of waves and compete for the “Elite” prizes, the events are timed in order to find the ultimate winner who will be eligible for the prize money awards at the end of the three day event. More Event Details The Alpha Warrior competition course travels the country, and is available to anyone who travels to the area where it is being held regardless of residency. The obstacles are created to test the skills of very active and fit persons. This is an event that requires preparation and training. Participants must be at least 16 years old and signed parental consent is required for individuals under the age of 18. Each participant will be required to sign a waiver of liability and also pay a fee for insurance in order to participate. The actual cost of competing in the event varies between $70 and $100 dollars with early registration getting the maximum discount, and there is a post-party for all participants. There are also discounts for members of the military or EMS profession.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting Carpets Cleaned the Right Way

The east coast has taken quite a beating this year from severe weather. Here in Illinois there has been a lot of water/flooding trouble too. Like in the Carolinas and other eastern states, getting rid of the damage from water is no easy feat. Hiring a carpet cleaning huntersville nc company, or a similar one for the area you live in when there's been water damage to carpets and rugs is the best way to ensure no problems will spring up later to surprise you. Times of severe weather damage aren't the only time to look for professionals though. I regularly have my wall to wall carpets professionally cleaned. For me it's especially important, becuase I have a cat and a dog, and those smells can really get into the fibers of the carpets even though both are very well house-broken. It's not just accidents that cause damage to rugs from pets. Even if there are never any accidents, shedding hair works into the fibers and the dander gets down deep into the backing and won't come out with simply vacuuming. Shampooing is not as thorough with a home use machine either, and doing it wrong can breed dangerous mold, so I always want a pro to get it done right.

Giving Tree

I just learned the story of the "giving tree" on the tv show So You Think You Can Dance. I had heard the term the giving tree before, but never knew there was a story to it. It's a book by Shel Silverstein, and the gist of it is there's a tree and a young boy plays on swings and climbing its branches, as a young man he takes the tree's branches to build a house and as a man he cuts down the trunk to make a boat. All that is left is a stump, and the then old man sits on the stumps to rest. The last line of the book just sent shivers down my spine: The tree was happy. I need to find that book and read it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Legal Help for Harassment

I have never had to deal with harasment in a workplace. Now that I work from home I rarely even think about it since there isn't a possibility of it. However, the situation is a serious one. I see people on talk or news shows and wonder how they deal with it. There are stigmas and problems of proving the situation which potentially make it one of the most under-reported issues in the workplace. Anyone who experiences harassment in the workplace really needs a lawyer. It is definitely something not to try and handle on your own. Searching for a person to help is easy now that the internet makes finding lawyers for sexual harassment in san diego or whatever area of the country you're in.

Time Out

Every writer needs some time out. It refreshes the mind and rejuvinates the spirit. In the summer that's no problem for me. It's out to anywhere there's water. Usually on a Saturday or Wednesday (or both -- weather permitting), because of Bob's days off. Last Saturday we took the boat out and picniced on a beach on the Illinois River. It was glorious. Here are some pictures. I think you can see how soul reviving it would be.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Everything Old is New Again

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a pretty outdoorsy type girl. My husband and I have been talking about renewing our vows again. It's been 30 years. It's about time. It would be fun. Our first wedding was in a traditional church setting. It was beautiful, and it had all the trimmings including a pretty silk runner to walk down. I think this time though, I'd like an outdoor wedding. Something by the beach, or in the woods. For that, a sturdy, yet beautiful burlap aisle runner would be perfect. It would match the setting and be able to hold up to the more strenuous wear. I still have my old dress. I wonder if it would fit. I doubt it though. Perhaps its time for a new dress as well as a new setting.

Full Function Phones

I got a new phone the other day. I really missed my old smart phone. It wasn't one of the 'best' ones, but it suited me just fine. When the old one broke, I decided I didn't need all that stuff, so I just got a regular little flip phone that just dialed and texted, nothing fancy. It did its job, but you don't know how attached to the frills you are until you don't have them anymore. So I got a new LGL 55c. The same one I used to have. It has a touch screen and a slider keyboard for full qwerty typing. It's nice to have it all again.

Beach Music

While out on the water a few weeks ago we past by a spot where you could hear a live band playing from the shoreline restaurant bar and grill. It was quite an experience. Although the band was performing on an outside patio we could hear them as if we were sitting right beside them. It was the music that attracted us to the spot, and I'm glad it did because it's a really cool place with a beach to park on and jump out to grab a bite to eat or a cool drink, then listen to the music on the water. They must have had some serious amps to be heard so clearly. I don't know where that band gets its gear, but it must have had some really powerful stuff like the We even cruised by there this last weekend hoping to catch some tunes and maybe grab a bite to eat while on the water, but it was a rainy and gray, so maybe they decided not to have a live band. Hopefully next weekend, when it is supposed to be bright and shiny they'll be out again. This time we'll definately beach and enjoy the experience.

Water Cows?

Spent the day on the Illinois River on Saturday. We do that a lot, but this was the first time I ever saw this sight on the water.

Maybe they were lost and needed directions.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Anything Anywhere -- Almost

You know what I love about the internet? Anyone can do anything from anywhere and be everyplace all at once. Even with all of the technology though, there are some things you need specific to a location. You might be able to have a CPA anywhere in the world do your paperwork and accounting, but it is a lot more helpful if you have cpa do the work if you live in North Carolina so you can check in with them, see them personally and deliver important paperwork in a timely manner. Some things just do not transfer well to the cyber workspace. That doesn't mean you can't use that technology even when you have someone locally doing a job for you. You can still email correspondence, talk via Skype or other messengers, or leave comments on social media pages, but when it comes right down to it, having them close by makes it easier and more efficient.

Rain or Shine

This spring has been really wild here. Lots and lots of rain has made it difficult to pursue my favorite pastime of fishing/boating/kayaking, but I've managed to get it in whenever possible. Here are a few pictures of recent outings.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

12 Year Old Rocker

Alexis, my granddaughter is a budding rocker. I've posted before about how proud I was when she asked for a guitar for her birthday and how happy it made me to see her picking it up well and taking lessons. It is thrilling. She is now fully committed. Well, as fully committed as a 12-year-old can be about being a future rocker. She aspires to be like Jennifer Batten or Sheryl Crowe. That would be great, but I just think it's wonderful to see her plucking out soulful rhthyms or heart-pumping melodies the high-powered energy of a 12-year-old with a tech 21 power engine by her side. Someday she will be up on a huge stage in front of a packed stadium, but even if that never happens, music will always have a special place in her heart, and create fantastic memories that will be with her all through life.


I love my son. I want to preface this post with that thought. I do. Due to several circumstances in his life, both within and outside of his control, he does not have a job and hasn't been able to find work of any substance for nearly 8 years now. He does get some seasonal work here and there, but it doesn't amount to much more than a little bit of spending money, so he lives with us. I know a lot of people in similar situations nowadays, but what really irks me sometimes is when he complains about certain things like what I decide to make for dinner, or how I make it. Or when things aren't specifically to his liking, or when he gets upset when I or my husband spend our own money, which we work hard for, on something he doesn't think we need and he doesn't have things happen he wants to have done. Well, guess what? It's our money, we don't have to ask his permission or make sure he is comfy cozy and has all his desires met. He's darned lucky he isn't living under a bridge somewhere and that he has food to eat. Sorry about the rant, but when someone who is almost 30 years old is living in his parent's home, he should be just as nice and appreciative as he can be.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Coffee Power

I love coffee. Any time of the day, every day, it doesn't matter when, I need coffee. It would be nice if cheap discount coffee was as good as designer coffee, but its not. Coffee is one of the things you just can't skimp on and get the same flavor and aroma. I love the smell of a good quality coffee. It makes you feel warm and comforted even before you take the first sip. You'll find timothys k cups here and can experience the very best in top quality coffee. I do so much during the day that I would never get it all done without a good cup of coffee keeping me fueled and energized.

Signs of Spring

I put out a bird bath and installed a bird feeder in the yard about a week ago. Since then there have been flocks of starlings and sparrows in the yard, and a few turtle doves too, but today I got a real treat. An American goldfinch glamour was at the bird bath. I sure hope to see more of these beauties around and some other species as well as the summer goes on. Here's a picture I found online of the bird I saw. Unfortunately I didn't have my phone on me to grab a shot of the one that stopped by here today.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wonderful Wireless

My granddaughter is following in my footsteps and learning how to play the guitar. Its exciting and fun to watch her get the thrill of creating music. It's even more exciting to see the new things available. One of the biggest pains I remember was always getting tangled up in cords. New wireless systems like the great shure pg48 makes everything so much easier. No more getting tangled up, or being limited on where you can move because of wires. There's a certain freedom inherent in creating music. Now there's even freedom while you create it.

Hobie Hoping

As much fun as I am anticipating the new inflatable boat to be, what I really want is this: Hoping that the house sale of the place down south goes through and we have a little extra money to get it. :)

Do It Right First

Now that I have a garage I can actually work in, with room to move around and the tools I need to get things done, I am really having fun making things and customizing things for the house, fishing and other uses. It also means I am learning how to find the right tools and items for a job. If I need zinc plated malleable iron handle nuts, I know why and how to find them. I learned a long time ago that when you need specific items to get a job done right, you might be able to rig up a substitution, but it's never going to be as good as the real thing, so do it right the first time and avoid having to fix it later.

Great Custom Work

This is a pretty cool example of a very tricked out customization of the same type of inflatable boat I have. It's a cheap and fun way to get out on the water. I've done a lot of the same customizations, but some of the ones on here are more than what I did at least for now. If I find the boat holds up well, I may put more time into doing a few more additional add-ons

All Work and a Lot of Play

I use all kinds of software to do my work online. Of course, there's the old trusty word program, but I also use a lot of special programs for artwork, design, site building and print shop software for making business cards, fliers and even book covers. These great programs have a lot of power and let me do a lot of things, but it's not all about work. There's a lot of play involved too. I love creating things with the programs I have. I grew up in the era before computers, so I think it gives me a greater appreciation for what is possible and what they allow me to do than some of the younger generation like my grandkids age have.

Big Projects

My winter project has been customizing a raft boat for the small ponds and rivers around here. Now that spring is (supposed to be) here, I am getting itchy to try it out. It's almost done. I just have to glue the indoor/outdoor carpet to the floorboard and install that, and I'm done. Today I fixed the transducer for the fishfinder/gps to a pipe I fashioned since it can't be screwed into the hull like it would a fiberglass, wood or metal boat. I don't know how well the inflatable boat will hold up to the rigors of fishing shallow waters, but it has been a real learning experience creating the special additions.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Cigar Aromas that Add Flavor and Ambiance

I love the smell of a good cigar, and I especially like when my husband smokes flavored cigars, because they have a delicious aroma that is just delightful. I've even tasted a few of them. It's not like smoking the cigarettes I usually smoke. The flavoring actually stays on your lips for a few minutes to the point that you want to lick your lips and savor it even more. It's nice to have a few different flavors so that you can change between them. That way you never get used to the flavor and it is always a fresh and full experience. Usually when my husband buys them, he gets strong flavors like cherry or mocha. I like the cherry, but I love the aroma of any of them and find the honey flavored cigars to add a lot of soothing ambiance to a room.

Want This So Bad!

I am so excited and hopeful. I may finally get to have my dream "boat" a Hobie Pro Angler 14. First though, I need spring to finally get here and stick. We've had some nice'ish' days, but they always drop back down to the 30s again after a day or two. This is a crazy long end of winter here in Illinois. Here's a video of one part of a review of the pro angler 12 (the smaller version of what I am looking to get.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Missing Music

Along with the guitar I also played the flute in Jr High and High school. I loved it, even though the sax was probably my favorite of wind instruments, the flute was so beautiful. I still have my old flute, but have been looking to replace it. Finding online makes it easier to get the best prices as long as you know what you are looking for. I might even try looking around for a sax and get my jazz on. Music was such a big part of my life when I was younger, and I really miss it. Now that life is calming down some, it's time to get back to it.

Shake it Off

Have you ever had those times when you just don't feel like writing? It's a slump that goes beyond writer's block. I'm really fighting it, and trying hard to overcome it. At first, I just said, okay, that's fine. Take some time off. But that little bit of time stretched into weeks and then months. It's time to find some way to shake off the cob webs and get back to business. Maybe this will help.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Keeping It Real

Addiction is a serious subject. I have characters that live in a life that is surrounded by the elements that create addictions. Many of my novels are ensconced in the music world. So having characters who need help getting free of drug or alcohol abuse is commonplace. I have to find out a lot about places like marijuana rehab at Malibu Horizon. While my novels are just stories, their work is serious and important. Knowing how they work and what is available helps me keep it real in my work too.

Breaking up Cabin Fever

This is such a cool video. I'm looking forward to spring. I'm getting a little bit of cabin fever so watching fishing videos is the only way at the moment to break it up. Just when it seemed like the weather was getting nice, the weather channel says we're in for up to 10 inches of snow tomorrow again. At least, the higher temperatures following it looks like it will make it go away fast. Until then, I'll watch my fishy videos.

Sunday, March 03, 2013


Do you think about the settings when you write? Building characters is important, but even the best characters will be flat if their surroundings aren't believable. If you are doing a church scene do you look at the possibilities for chapel chairs? If you are writing a beach scene, do you take weather and seasons into consideration? If you are setting a scene in a home it's pretty easy, but it gets a lot more complicated when you put your characters in specific places that have certain requirements to be believable.


I had a tough week this week. Early in the week I had a new client for my freelance work. It was a mid-size project, and I was really happy to have it since things have been slow. I got the work done quickly and then the client seemed to drop off of the face of the earth. I was getting worried that they weren't going to release the escrow payment set up and I was going to be out the money I had already counted on since I did the work. Finally, today they released the money. I am always happy to work with people, but I get a little upset when they want rush projects and I get it done for them and then they feel like it's okay to take their time paying for it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Good Business

I used to have all of the swag for my books wherever I went. I haven't done that as much anymore, but I have found that not having a good business card on me when an opportunity presented itself is costing me in sales and readership. I tried making my own. It seemed like the prudent thing to do, but it really does just look "homemade". It's a lot better to look for great deals like the cheap business cards from zooprinting.com. It makes sense, they look professional and they are always handy. The designs are flexible enough to give me a lot of choices. Even have individual ones printed up for each book, or make series related cards, or just my name brand. Swag is fun, but business cards are just good business.

Buying and Selling Boats

Yeah, I'm looking to sell my boat and buy a smaller, more specific boat. I loved the time we spent on the cruiser, but it's expensive and better as a slip boat meaning it costs money to rent slip space during the short season as well. I would prefer a bow rider or a fishing boat that will get into shallow areas better for getting the most versatility when out, and is easy to trailer and get in and out of the water. In a perfect, well-financed world I'd keep the cruiser anyway, and get the other boat too, but that's not going to happen. I need to sell the one to afford the other. I'll miss the big girl.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Feel Good Fragrances

There are some songs that take you back to a particular period of time, an event, or bring up feelings. There are some sights that do the same. All of the senses have that power. Smell is one of the most powerful. That's why fragrances are so powerful. Now, if you have ever played with Play Doh as a child, you will definitely appreciate play doh cologne. It's a great fragrance and it is bound to take you back to your childhood. It will also elicit a comfortable, homey feeling for others when they are near. It's one of those aromas you can't help but feel good about.

Rejuvenating Your Writing

It has been a long week. I've had a lot of work, and last weekend, even though I took it off, I had a lot of work to do with a home improvement project. It was one of those, I time off from my time off types of things. I finally got a little relaxation this weekend and boy was it appreciated. Being a writer and working from home often means working 7 days a week, many more hours a day than you would at a "day job." Most of the time it's well worth it. Sometimes you just need to decompress though. Always make sure you take a little time to relax and rejuvenate. Your work will be fresher and you'll feel better for it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Creating Character with Style

I love giving my characters a personality that is shown in a lot of ways including the styles they wear. For instance, a South American cowboy charm can be given with Panama Cowboy Hats or a little bit of a kicked back southern grace with a bucket hat. I absolutely adore the looks of a straw Panama Fedora. It has the elegant charm of a Fedora but has more of an Argentinian, southern feel. I have to make a character who wears one in my next piece.

Back to Work

I haven't had very much time this past two weeks to do much in the way of animation, working on my movie ideas or making more 3d props. My freelancing has stepped back up again after the regular holiday slump that always occurs around Christmas and New Years. As much as I grumble about the drop in income, I usually prepare for it and it is a nice little vacation that lets me play with my projects for awhile, and I miss it a bit when it is over. I did manage to make this cargo ship before getting back to work.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Keeping Time

I'm so happy that I don't have to punch a clock anymore, but working online is not without its schedules and demands. For companies who use them, it is possible to find employee time clock software online that can simplify the process of keeping track of hours. For those of us that work at home online, keeping track of our hours and the time it takes to create each product so we make a fair wage is a little more complicated, but there is software for that too. I just use a spreadsheet that I formulated myself, but I have seen how that lacks in certain areas. If I had to control the time of others it wouldn't be enough. I would need software that fully realizes the exact amount of time spent on each piece or product.

3d Props

I just made a new lamp 3d prop today
I've put it up as a single product, but it's actually part of a whole room prop I'm doing. It is just one of the many I've made this week. I actually have over 100 props in my store now. The great thing is they're selling. :) Nice.