Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Battle Rages! Kindle 1, Nook 1

At the end of one week, Kindle and Nook are running neck and neck...if you can call one to one a race. I guess it takes any virus a while to start moving, so let's call this week 1 of the incubation period!

I did get a missive from one of the two purchasers who said, "Got your Fractured Anecdotes l the other day. Read them in one sitting and laughed until I cried. Will be watching for more."

Reviews don't get much better than that! I'll take it!

Now...I will take any and all suggestions as to how to get this virus to major outbreak status. I can't think of anything people need right now more than an outbreak of humor, can you?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Have you been Nooked?

As of last night, the viral experiment has gone live on Barnes and Noble, with an e-book version now available for Nook owners. It can be found at Fractured Anecdotes I on B&N.

Now the question is, will it sell more copies on Amazon than it does on Barnes & Noble? Rest assured I will be revisting sales numbers every month or so, and we shall see if an author can actually make a few bucks by this method of sales!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Want to Participate in a Viral Experiment?

While waiting patiently for the literary agent to sell the book that is making the rounds of the publishing houses, I decided to conduct a little experiment and leap into the fray with an e-book for Kindle and Nook.

I've called the book, drum roll, "Fractured Anecdotes I" and it is a compilation of very funny and/or strange true stories from my extensive arsenal of "it can only happen to Betsy" events. You might find a couple of these in this blog if you dig back far enough, but why bother when, with the click of the mouse button, you can download the best of the best directly to your computer or reader?

Is it possible for a singular little e-book to go viral? I am guessing that it is possible, but only if everyone passes the link on to everyone they know.

So feel free to join me in my viral experiment. Wouldn't it be something to see a small locally written piece of work go global from little old Lake County?

Give it a shot!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dead of night...

During the Middle Bass Island weekend (Oct 2-3), one of the writing exercises we participated in was writing a postcard as a way to jump start the creative process. I addressed mine to myself. Steve drove to the Middle Bass Post Office as we were leaving the island on Sunday and dropped them in the mail.

The postcard finally arrived. Today.

I have great respect for our postal service, but realistically, I could have walked the postcard from Middle Bass to Perry faster. It took eight days from the time of postmarking until it arrived. I wonder if it was only my postcard or if everyone at the retreat received their postcards at the snail’s pace.

Wedding plans are moving forward. The “Save the Date” cards will be going out before the end of the month. The Christmas wine also will be bottled by the end of the month. I think that other than the wine and the usual holiday dinner, I’m restricting my gift-buying to the little kids. There are just too many expenses coming up quickly to allow myself to get into any additional debt, and none of the adults really needs anything. Although I suppose I could get everyone their traditional holiday socks.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another weekend, another world...

The bone-jarring cold of the weekend past is naught but a memory, replaced by the warm, fuzzy thoughts of the benefits received; much as the pain of childbirth is forgotten once the child is in your arms for the first time. And in the same way, I am more than willing to repeat that weekend, cold and all.

The gain from a weekend writing retreat is usually worth whatever effort or discomfort is involved. Sometimes I think we learn more in that uncomfortable place…new surroundings, new people, new ideas…than we do wallowing in our familiar zones of complacency. I’ve always been a proponent of the idea that personal change is good. It promotes growth and stimulates creativity. The more changes you make in your personal world, the better. Change at work can be good too, as long as it is done to make things more efficient, more profitable, and more effective and is not being done just for the sake of change or by personal whim.

Getting out of the comfort zone is a real necessity for writers. Move to the front porch with the laptop, go to a coffee shop (it’s not as distracting as you might imagine), go sit on the beach. The sound and the sight of water always bring out a creative mood in me, but only if I’m well rested. If I’m sleep deprived, the water sights and sounds send me off to la-la-land. Just make sure that it’s someplace where you’re not looking at the house that needs cleaning, the laundry that needs doing, and the bills that need paying. It’s also best to move as far away as possible from anyone for whom you feel responsible, be it spouse, child, sibling or parent. Just their presence can be a flow-stopping distraction.

With the weekend weather as nice as it is today…take a walk and just enjoy. When you get back, set up your laptop on the porch or sit in a lawn chair and soak up the sun’s warmth as you let your mind take you where the writing wants to go!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oh Wa Ta Goo Siam...

And oh what a few weeks I’ve had. On Friday, Sept 24, I sat waiting for Chinese takeout when I got a call from the other half, saying he was rescuing our daughter because her car died. It turned out that she blew the engine on her ’98 Corolla. And so began the week of getting up at far too early of an hour so that I could leave work early to take my daughter to work, while we attempted to figure out her transportation issue.

On Saturday, a good friend’s husband died in a tragic accident and I went into grief support mode. For me, this means cooking, and cooking, and cooking. Comfort foods seem to be most helpful. Grief support mode was interrupted by the search and discovery of a used minivan for my daughter and trips to the credit union to arrange financing. I took half a day of vacation time mid-week to attend and sing at the funeral service and to lend what support I could.

This was followed on Thursday by an early morning doctor’s appointment and on Friday by last minute laundry and packing for the Writer’s Retreat I had been waiting for months to attend on Middle Bass Island.

I left home about 7:45 Saturday, Oct 2, and headed West. I arrived at Miller Ferry on Catawba Point, parked in the free lot and left the warmth of my car. I can truthfully say it was the last time I was warm until Sunday night, an hour into the drive home. That being said, I had a great weekend! I took the ferry to Middle Bass, and our host, Steve, picked me up at the dock along with two other writers.

An additional two writers missed the ferry and took one to South Bass instead and then rented a water taxi over. The last writer missed the ferry and waited for the next one, but that wasn’t until 5 in the afternoon.

We stayed at The President’s Cottage, formerly the vacation home for President Howard Taft and his family. Cottage doesn’t quite describe this house. There were twelve- and fourteen-foot ceilings, massive four-foot wide entrance door, two bedrooms on the first, five bedrooms on the second, and two not yet renovated bedrooms on the third floor. Unfortunately, the place was built as a summer home and there is no heat, central or otherwise. The fireplace was workable but not used because the age and condition make it an extreme fire hazard.

So we have a house with no heat and seven writers all gathered to spend the weekend, which should have been temperate, but had turned cold and rainy with 40 mph winds coming out of the east-southeast. We sat around dressed in layers and wrapped in blankets, talking, discussing, eating hot food, and drinking wine. We did exercises to help relieve writer’s block, critiqued each other’s work, and discussed many of the aspects of writing and publishing. Steve was a terrific host and I will most definitely get on the list to visit the island again should he be willing to host another retreat!