Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sick.....AND tired!

We've all been ill at one time or another...colds, flu, allergies....You name it and most folks deal with it from time to time. Generally, I'm fortunate...I'm rarely sick more than a day or two and usually its just allergies or a head cold. Annoying...inconvenient for sure, but manageable.
This past few weeks I've had the karmic equivalent of a kick in the pants for my years of good fortune. A cold, followed by the flu and topped off with a sinus infection...Gawd. 
   Am I whining? No. Well, maybe a little...(honey say's A LOT!) Which prompted me to write about the differences between men and women when we're ill. When honey (my wonderful wife) is sick, she usually takes short naps and does task in micro burst. She only goes to the doctor as a last resort as she's a fitness/health fanatic. Her mood is dampened but rarely is she short tempered or out of sorts. A dainty little cough...."ahack...hack." A red, irritated nose...actually kindia cute.
ME on the other hand, after two days with the flu....
A waste basket full of crumpled tissue and an end table littered with prescription drugs and over the counter remedies are within arms reach of the couch, where I lay swaddled with blankets, the powerful aroma of Vick's permeating the air around me.
Spitting and hacking disgusting globs of goo into the basket makes my honey cringe. Moaning, I plop back down, resuming my bear like slumber as honey mumbles.
                   "That's SO gross! You're making me nauseous!"
Harrumphing, I drag my blankey over my head, croaking.
                 "Will you rub some more Vick's on my chest?"
Rolling her eyes, (I can FEEL it!) honey sighs, replying.
                 "Yes, dear."
Uncovering my head as she reaches me, I say.
                 "And bring me some 7-up?"
Suppressing another eye roll, she reverse course to the kitchen for my drink. Handing me the glass, I sip before handing it back to her with a groan.
                 "Now the Vick's?"
Nodding, honey smears the axle grease-like concoction onto my chest. I ask her.
                 "Sing soft kitty to me?"
Scowling, honey replies.
                  "Absolutely not."
Giving her my best puppy dog look, I plead.
                  "But I'm sick!"
Smiling slightly and rubbing my head, honey answers.
                  "You are...and apparently deranged. Maybe we should check that fever again!"
College girls....To her credit, honey put up with my demands for a solid week ( I only missed two days of work) before threatening to bunk me with our dog. I grudgingly scaled back the sniveling after that...well...some anyway!
So are women tougher than men when it comes to being sick? I dunno. I think us guys just wanna be...pampered a bit more. What's wrong with that? :o) Besides, my traitorous dog snarled at me when I tried to crawl into his bed....Selfish animal!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A heart-felt thank you!

Good morning all,
                             I want to thank all of you for the prayers and well wishes for my wonderful wife. The swollen lump on her opposing side has receded and the second series of test still show it as a none issue! :o) After completing the cancer treatments less than six weeks ago, we are understandably greatly relieved! Honey sends her thanks and hugs out as well.
In other news, honey (who has always been terrified of the water) took and completed a 25 hour lifeguard course this past four days! She is now a certified lifeguard and just plain certifiable!! LOL! She plans to add this to her hours at the YMCA were she is a personal trainer and fitness instructor. She continues to inspire me daily with her desire to overcome her personal fears and to challenge her own boundaries. We had the following conversation.
"I'm SO proud of you! Now you can save ME!" I say with a leer.
Honey looks me up and down saying with a smirk.
"I think I'm gonna need a bigger floatation device..."
The stupid dog snickers. Glaring at him, I protest.
"HEY! In the water, I'm light as a feather!"
"Uh-huh...I was thinking about getting you OUT of the water..." Smiling brightly honey snaps her fingers, quipping. "I could put snacks pool-side!"
Scowling, I shake my head, replying.
"No way...I'm not getting out til you give me mouth to mouth!"
Wrapping her up in a bear hug, honey kisses my nose giggling.
"Ok, then...I guess I'll keep you instead of throwing you back!"
Smart alacky collage girls!
I hope you all have a wonderful week and once again, I thank you!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Getting Reviews

Getting Reviews!

You’ve done it! Finished that labor of love that’s taken you months (or years!) of painstaking research and editing. Your novel…it’s complete! You send it out into the world and just KNOW if people would only pick it up, they’d love it as much as you do!
Unfortunately your work has just begun…getting the readers to actually BUY your book is a daunting task! According to Bowkers, the folks that issue ISBN’s, last year three MILLION books were published! That’s a 200% increase over the previous year! Astoundingly, they estimate that THIS year that number could be 15 MILLION!! The mind boggles….
What to do? It means that we have to use EVERY single tool available to us to increase our visibility. Honest reviews are one tool that must be included in each marketing plan. There is no “magic” plan! No one thing works for everyone or with any consistency! TRY EVERYTHING!! Even your failures will net exposure! Here are a few things that I’ve personally had some success with. The only limit is your imagination.

I've spent a LOT of time talking to (in person) the local book chains and small storeowners. Some of these have been fruitful and others are still in progress. I also researched the local newspapers carefully for the editors of the lifestyles sections and crafted emails requesting inclusion in their weekly "book-news" they only included me however, once I started having book-signing dates. I've mailed hard copies to several big reviewers and am hoping to get those within the next few months. I polled my friends that I KNEW where avid readers and gave them a copy with a request for a review. ONE of them so far has read and completed a review! LOL! I do use twitter but rarely do I promote my material (maybe 15%) the folks that constantly bombard with nothing but self-promotion quite frankly BORE ME TO TEARS!
In my opinion, social medial is just that….SOCIAL! It’s for getting to know folks a little at a time. If I wanted to watch commercials, I’d sit in front of the T.V.! Marketing takes time and patience, BOTH of which are in short supply when all you want is for somebody to READ YOUR BOOK!
My advice? DO market and promote but NOT at the exclusion of WRITING! Give yourself a time frame for promotion each week and then get back to work! The reality is simple. Not everyone is going to like your work. That’s OK…because some WILL too! When that wonderful thing happens, guess what? Those folks are going to want your next work and if it’s NOT there…well, goodbye new reader! They’ll move on to the next work that’s available….don’t you?
Another tactic is to place some of your books in chain stores on a commission basis. You’ll be the supplier, which means you purchase copies up front and the store gets a cut to put them on the shelves. As indie authors this may be the only way to get your work in the chains in something other than an eBook format.
The bottom line…short of being obnoxious, promote everywhere and in any way you can imagine! Be dandelion like…spread the fluff EVERYWHERE until something takes root! Above all, be kind! ESPECIALLY to those that aren’t receptive, they may be at a later time or not, but if you show you tail you can BET that word will get around!
Always be the best example and presenter of your craft as possible. In the end, people buy books because they fall in love with YOU! Your voice thru your characters…THAT’S what it’s all about!