Monthly Archives: January 2014

This Life…What a Ride!

This Life…What a Ride!

1-House

It hits me in unexpected moments – that realization that I have lived a rather interesting life.

Despite being an agnostic with atheist leanings (or perhaps because of that status), I find myself contemplating the lessons this life has given me, the strengths I have developed through adversity, and the deep happiness I find in sharing my knowledge and experience and empathy with others.

I’ve still got a long way to go. I figure I’m somewhere at the halfway point of my life, and I am fascinated at the thought of what another 43 years can or will teach me. Who will I be then? What turns will my life have taken?

I haven’t been to Europe yet, or even visited that many states east of Missouri, but my life has been full of learning opportunities. Perhaps it is in how we look at the events in our lives that dictates what they become as we leave them behind.

My first husband was a deadbeat, determined to control me through emotional abuse – from this I learned (albeit years later) that I was actually a good person inside, full of capability and love and potential.

My parents were at times functional and somewhat there for me – from this I learned to be functional ALWAYS and to be aware that, if I couldn’t be/do it all for my daughters, I could at least warn them of the down time coming.

My paternal grandmother Nana, who passed away nearly three years ago, just three days short of her 100th birthday, had a rather wavy moral compass. After my parents divorced, that moral compass became a little more skewed (she REALLY did not like my mother after that) and I got caught up in the middle – but I still learned so much from her – from her I learned to fight/scrap/get messy in order to strive for what I wanted in life. She was a spitfire and she put her indelible mark upon me.

My maternal grandmother was far from cuddly or warm, but she taught me frugality, imbued a strong DIY spirit in me, and gave me a love for gardening and home crafts.

My second husband taught me to trust my gut, ALWAYS. I stopped listening to others try to tell me what I wanted from a man after that relationship!

I’ve been homeless twice in my life – it taught me the importance of again, trusting my gut, working hard, and not letting others pull you down.

And along the way I have met so many people, full of flaws, full of hope, full of life…they have taught me patience, anger, fear, love, loyalty, kindness and so much more.

This life…what a ride it has been…what a ride I have left to go!

(This was originally posted on Bubblews at: http://www.bubblews.com/news/2176722-this-lifewhat-a-ride)

And Another Review!

And Another Review!

AOWT cover

The reviews on Amazon for my most recent book, “The War on Drugs: An Old Wives Tale” now number a dozen. I couldn’t be more pleased.

Doing the ebook giveaway and promotion has really helped get the book out there to far more than have had time to review, and I am sure more will roll in as time goes by.

I’m managing to not check it obsessively – which is good, I’ve got way too much other writing to do!

However, I just looked and another review had come in. I really like this one…

“I live in the county this book takes place in. I drive by the courthouse mentioned often. I never knew anything like this was going on in my area. It was devastating to read, but devastating in the way we need to be devastated in order for our nation to see progress. I appreciated the ability to step inside a real family going through this. That personal connection made the book feel relatable, and it was easy, as a fellow mother, to picture myself living this nightmare if my life had gone a different direction. The day by day format of the book works well for demonstrating the struggle as a daily battle rather than one big event. It was hundreds of bad events. Lots of bad policies, lots of injustice, lots of anger and fear. I highly recommend this to those who think drugs are something only found in “that part of town” or that all those involved are “that sort of people.” It’s simply not true.”

Isn’t that a great review? Really, all of them have been. I’ve really enjoyed reading what people thought of the book so far.

I named my book partly as a play on words. We want to think that the War on Drugs is actually about drugs, but it isn’t. And that is partly why I call it an old wives’ tale. The other reason is because, in this case, I’m the old wife telling the tale. It just happens to be true.

In any case, I hope to do another promotion in a month or two, after I’ve had it proofread and corrected for errors (I found several that made me crazy) and have it synch with an interview I’m going to be doing on a radio show, “Sex, Drugs, and Civil Liberties.”

I really like that title, don’t you?!

AOWT cover

More Reviews Keep Rolling In

More Reviews Keep Rolling In

AOWT cover

In a lot of ways, writing a book is easy…waiting for others to read it and then comment on it is far more difficult for me. Hmmm…I guess its that patience thing working against me!

Ever since I did the free ebook offer two weeks ago, we have heard a smattering of responses. I’ve already mentioned the one &andythetree did and there is actually a full review from him reproduced on my newly established Reviews tab. In fact, I’m going to be adding all of the reviews to date there.

The last few days I’ve been miserably ill. So when my husband walked in yesterday and said, “Check Amazon, you have some more reviews,” I was definitely ready for some good news. Suffering from a massive sinus infection, I still can’t see well out of my left eye. A cool cloth held over it, I squinted at the words on the screen and saw three more reviews posted. This brings me to a total of eleven!

This one was particularly eloquent…

“Written with the humor of hindsight, yet the abject horror of getting caught in the cross fire of the so-called War On Drugs comes through with crystal clarity. For anyone that has any doubt about the truth of the matter, it becomes abundantly clear that the war on drugs is really a war on people, – good wholesome people that care for their children and make a positive contribution to their community. This is a must read.

The War on Drug’s: An Old Wives’ Tale lays bare the absurdity of Marijuana Prohibition, the lies and injustice of our Legal System, and the unscientific, unethical nature of “The Recovery Industry”.

Read it. Believe it. And be warned.”

That was from a friend of my husband’s who, upon encountering difficulties reading it with his ereader, actually bought a paperback copy, sat down in a café and read the entire darned thing in one sitting.

I love what he said about the war on drugs really being a war on people. Beautifully said!

So as I lay here, coughing, blowing my nose and suffering through this horrid sinus infection, seeing such kind words written is really, really uplifting. Thank you, everyone!

As I have said before, writing is an isolating endeavor. As such, hearing others’ thoughts and feedback on what I have written is always such a gift.

AOWT cover

How My Writing Has Paid Off – My House!

How My Writing Has Paid Off – My House!

1-House

Writing is often an isolated, solitary act. It is rare that I write with others’ involvement. I may be sitting in the middle of a crowd, but my thoughts are whirling, words churning out beneath my fingers, while around me life is happening, separate from the act of writing.

I was thinking the other day about the ways in which my writing has paid off. You can’t just measure it in terms of monetary earnings either, but in emotional benefits, and other ways. I’d like to share with you some of them I have experienced over the years…

MY HOUSE!!!

I think that the biggest benefit I can list for how my writing has paid off is the house in which I live now.

In early October 2012 I wrote a post on my main blog, The Deadly Nightshade (thedeadlynightshade.com) talking about this gorgeous old mansion in St. Joseph. It was 10,000 square feet…and nearly ½ million dollars. Those were ½ million dollars more than I had to buy a house!

I was dreaming of my writing and hoping that someday it would pay off when the following comment came through on my blog post:

“$595k is too much for that house anyway. We’re getting ready to put our 4000 sq ft Victorian (complete with wrap-wround porch, stained glass, pocket doors, built-in library shelves and 4 city lots!) on the market for under $100k. I guess location IS everything.”

CrankyPuppy a.k.a. Sherry, was a long-time reader, lurker…stalker…(I’m kidding about that last part). She was also the owner of what very quickly became my dream house.

Did it have everything I could possibly want in a house?

No.

But it did have age…121 years old this year…a large space for gardening…the right price…and more room than I knew what to do with (I’m learning quickly, though).

It was more than livable, thanks to some truly backbreaking labor by Sherry and her guy Jim. And as a result of my absolute insistence on moving (something that my poor husband had a difficult time dealing with) we bought it before it ever went on the market.

I’ve been here nearly one year and still absolutely adore the house. There are projects lined up and stretching years into the future, but I can’t help but look forward to them. I figure I have 40+ years to enjoy the heck out of my dream house.

Finding a 120+ year old house, with 3400 square feet of finished space, and another 3500 square feet of potential (we want to install a concrete floor in the basement, and finish out the attic into a master suite), on five lots of land in the city for less than $100k is absolutely a phenomenal deal. Especially considering it was move-in ready.

And that wraps up my series on how my writing has paid off. I hope you will agree that the journey here has been worth it. It certainly has been for me!

If you have missed a post on how my writing is paid off, you can find the others here:

“You Touched My Life” – www.bubblews.com/news/2051854-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-you-touched-my-life

Friends/Connections – www.bubblews.com/news/2058775-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-friendsconnections

Book Sales – www.bubblews.com/news/2067208-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-book-sales

Earnings on Bubblews – www.bubblews.com/news/2085461-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-earnings-on-bubblews

Clarity of Thought and Improved Writing Ability – www.bubblews.com/news/2093251-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-clarity-of-thought-and-improved-writing-ability

(This post was originally published on Bubblews at: http://www.bubblews.com/news/2101874-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-my-house

How My Writing Has Paid Off – Clarity of Thought and Improved Writing Ability

How My Writing Has Paid Off – Clarity of Thought and Improved Writing Ability

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Writing is often an isolated, solitary act. It is rare that I write with others’ involvement. I may be sitting in the middle of a crowd, but my thoughts are whirling, words churning out beneath my fingers, while around me life is happening, separate from the act of writing.

I was thinking the other day about the ways in which my writing has paid off. You can’t just measure it in terms of monetary earnings either, but in emotional benefits, and other ways. I’d like to share with you some of them I have experienced over the years…

CLARITY OF THOUGHT/IMPROVED WRITING ABILITY

Until about ten years ago, I would have sworn to you that I was incapable of reading non-fiction. I’m not sure WHY I thought that, but I did. And with that statement would have followed the words, “And of course that goes for writing non-fiction.”

Until then, I had written fiction, poetry, and the like and eschewed non-fiction. When I quit my last office job and dove into the world of entrepreneurship, things changed. Suddenly I was reading non-fiction on a regular basis, learning at an exponential rate, and this also translated to writing more non-fiction.

To the point that two of the three books I have written and self-published are non-fiction. Something that amuses me no end.

In any case, I still couldn’t really believe it. Surely it was a glitch, an aberration if you will, so I set out to prove that I could write constantly about non-fiction subjects. I started two blogs in 2010, one on gardening and self-sufficiency (thedeadlynightshade.com) and another on homeschooling (homeschooladvocate.org) and before long was posting in them regularly, if not daily.

One of the side effects was an increase in clarity of thought. I would sit down with a purpose – a clear goal in mind. I wanted to inform and entertain, amuse and fascinate. I won’t say I always pulled it off, but I’ve managed to get a regular following…even people who DON’T already know me!

Just as I found myself growing and learning in my teens when my teacher first allowed me to substitute those miserable sentence-diagramming lessons with self-assigned creative writing expeditions – so too have I grown when writing in the past few years.

I have learned to be more concise, to edit on the fly (most of my posts are published as is, without any editing), and to provide plenty of content.

Bubblews has really helped with that as well. Now if I could just write more letters, journal more, and get back onto finishing those book projects!…

If you have missed a post on how my writing is paid off, you can find the others here:

“You Touched My Life” – www.bubblews.com/news/2051854-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-you-touched-my-life
Friends/Connections – www.bubblews.com/news/2058775-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-friendsconnections
Book Sales – www.bubblews.com/news/2067208-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-book-sales
Earnings on Bubblews – www.bubblews.com/news/2085461-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-earnings-on-bubblews

 

(This was originally published on Bubblews at: http://www.bubblews.com/news/2093251-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-clarity-of-thought-and-improved-writing-ability)

Juggling Those Priorities – Finishing Book Projects

Juggling Those Priorities – Finishing Book Projects

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I’m feeling good these days, although when I really get into the swing of things I feel like a world-class juggler.
So after some serious down time over the holidays – and fighting off depression – I emerged with some specific goals for the New Year.

I’m going to take them one post at a time…

FINISHING BOOK PROJECTS

I’ve got a large number of book projects. I’ll list the main, well-fleshed out projects here…

War’s End Book 2 – The first book was published in 2011 and this sequel will finish the series. Think post-apocalyptic/survivalist/people story. I started writing War’s End far too long ago to admit and am finally at the spot where I have about six chapters left to write (out of a total of 35 chapters in Book 2).

Gliese 581/The Plague Tales – These are two inter-related series – best described as science fiction – world-wide plague, a spaceship plagued by an unknown saboteur, and a brand-new world to be explored. My notes are pretty extensive for Gliese 581. I’ve written several chapters of the book so far and I have also written a short story set in the Plague Tale side of thing on Earth in the early part of next century. This series needs a lot of work.

Quit Your Job, Change Your Life – non-fiction obviously. This project is about 45% complete, with the rest clearly marked out and good to go. I haven’t touched it in well over a year, possibly two. Really need to get to that.

Chronicles of Liv Rowan – This series is so big, so detailed and in depth it simply robs me of the ability to full form words. I’ve identified TWELVE books in this series, all centering around one central character. If I ever get it together enough to take the 40+ pages of notes, the several chapters written, and fuse all of that planning and info into a series of books, it will be absolutely phenomenal.

I’m still struggling to figure out just HOW I’m going to incorporate these book projects into my day to day life. I WANT to do it, but I’m trying desperately to figure out how to make about $300 per month more right now because we NEED it, desperately.

That need for money is really interfering with my ability to write.

Perhaps if I can take all of my energy and focus and use the Wednesday homeschool LEARN classes and the 1-3 hours I will have each Friday in between cleanings and P.E. being in Waldorf classes and use those exclusively for fiction writing, I might get some chunks of it knocked out.

Missed a post on Juggling Priorities? Here is the list of previous posts…

Homeschool – www.bubblews.com/news/2067735-juggling-those-priorities-homeschool
Writing on Bubblews – www.bubblews.com/news/2075944-juggling-those-priorities-writing-on-bubblews

(This post was originally published on Bubblews at: http://www.bubblews.com/news/2093116-juggling-those-priorities-finishing-book-projects)

How My Writing Has Paid Off – Earnings on Bubblews

How My Writing Has Paid Off – Earnings on Bubblews

moneytree

Writing is often an isolated, solitary act. It is rare that I write with others’ involvement. I may be sitting in the middle of a crowd, but my thoughts are whirling, words churning out beneath my fingers, while around me life is happening, separate from the act of writing.

I was thinking the other day about the ways in which my writing has paid off. You can’t just measure it in terms of monetary earnings either, but in emotional benefits, and other ways. I’d like to share with you some of them I have experienced over the years…

EARNINGS ON BUBBLEWS

When I’m not wasting my time struggling with self-doubt or questioning whether or not my time is wasted writing on Bubblews, I’ve made a decent amount of money.

I joined back in June 2013, wrote a few posts and then walked away from it, unsure how I was ever going to make any money.

I returned to it in August, mainly after reading &mommykerrie and her earnings summaries. I have dropped in and out a couple of times since – due to illness, travel, or that ever-annoying self-doubt and stress thing that would pop up.

To date I have written a total of 451 posts and collected $508.24 in earnings. I have another $23+ in my balance, so I’m over halfway to my next redemption.

I’ve never NOT been paid and the most I’ve ever had to wait for a payment is about ten days – which is a phenomenally short time in the publishing/writing world.

So over the course of everything, I am earning an average of $1.78 per post. That average isn’t the most accurate because, as you know, you start out with zero connections and few people seeing your posts as a result. The more you know and who see your posts, the more you earn.

It might not be a lot – but it beats getting in my 20 mile to the gallon gas guzzling van, driving anywhere from ten to 25 miles and scrubbing out toilets, then driving back again.

It might not beat it in total dollars earned (I average around $30 per hour when I clean houses), but it certainly does beat it in terms of gas saved and being in comfortable surroundings!

If you have missed a post on how my writing is paid off, you can find the others here:

“You Touched My Life” – www.bubblews.com/news/2051854-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-you-touched-my-life

Friends/Connections – www.bubblews.com/news/2058775-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-friendsconnections

Book Sales – www.bubblews.com/news/2067208-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-book-sales

(Originally post was published on Bubblews at: http://www.bubblews.com/news/2085461-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-earnings-on-bubblews)

Juggling Priorities – Writing on Bubblews

Juggling Priorities – Writing on Bubblews

I’m feeling good these days, although when I really get into the swing of things I feel like a world-class juggler.

So after some serious down time over the holidays – and fighting off depression – I emerged with some specific goals for the New Year.

I’m going to take them one post at a time…

WRITING ON BUBBLEWS

Five posts a day. Five posts a day. I can do FIVE posts a day!

That’s my mantra these days. And it has worked okay for the past week. Now…we will see once we add in the OTHER part of the equation, which I will discuss tomorrow, or possibly the day after, my various book projects.

For now, writing on Bubblews with a goal of five posts a day seems doable and could hopefully make the difference between balancing our budget or NOT.

I’ve seen a lot of arguing/posts back and forth asking “what is the perfect number of posts” or “should I only do 1-2?” or “anyone who does more than three posts a day is just in it for the money!” – Every opinion, every inflammatory phrase they can think of.

At the risk of opening up a can of worms…what do YOU think? What is the perfect number of posts? Or is there?

Missed a post on Juggling Priorities? Here is the list of previous posts…

Homeschool – www.bubblews.com/news/2067735-juggling-those-priorities-homeschool

How My Writing Has Paid Off – Book Sales

How My Writing Has Paid Off – Book Sales

Writing is often an isolated, solitary act. It is rare that I write with others’ involvement. I may be sitting in the middle of a crowd, but my thoughts are whirling, words churning out beneath my fingers, while around me life is happening, separate from the act of writing.

I was thinking the other day about the ways in which my writing has paid off. You can’t just measure it in terms of monetary earnings either, but in emotional benefits, and other ways. I’d like to share with you some of them I have experienced over the years…

BOOK SALES

On my first two posts of how my writing has paid off, I have focused on the positives. And while the details below may not seem like positive payoff, it has been a learning experience. To that end, it is still worthwhile, because I sure have been learning!

Most people have no idea how little it pays to be an author. Especially if you are self-published like I am. Now while some may claim that I’m not a ‘true author’ because I haven’t got a book contract from a publisher or handed over 10-20% of my meager income to an agent to pimp my work to said publisher, I’ll save that argument for another day.

The point being, I’ve written a book (three of them now) and published them in hard copy and ebook format.

The best sales I ever managed at one time were 25 copies of my organizing book “Get Organized, Stay Organized” and a one hour presentation on organization. I earned $250. I believe it was a local city government in Overland Park or some such place that hosted it.

I’ve taught a handful organizing classes that netted me anywhere from $20 – $150 per two hour class in book sales. Considering that “Get Organized, Stay Organized” was the only book I PAID to be printed by a local printing company…I’ve almost made my money back!

By the way, if you have any interest, I have at least 300 copies of the book left and I’m totally willing to give you a good bulk price on those!

The other two have been POD (print on demand). I’ve gone through Lulu which wasn’t too bad of a way to go. If I buy the books, they cost me about $10 each with shipping and handling figured in. This makes them difficult to sell. I’ve often sold them for that price, meaning I don’t get a profit at all. I can’t take them to independent bookstores, however, because their commission is 20-30% of the sales price, so even if I ended up selling them for $12 each, I would be paying people to take them off my hands.

I’ve managed to sell a handful of each of my books War’s End and The War on Drugs: An Old Wives Tale on Amazon in paperback and ebook form. I think I’ve made about $50 altogether.

If you have missed a post on how my writing is paid off, you can find the others here:

“You Touched My Life” – www.bubblews.com/news/2051854-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-you-touched-my-life
Friends/Connections – www.bubblews.com/news/2058775-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-friendsconnections

How My Writing Has Paid Off – Friends/Connections

How My Writing Has Paid Off – Friends/Connections

Writing is often an isolated, solitary act. It is rare that I write with others’ involvement. I may be sitting in the middle of a crowd, but my thoughts are whirling, words churning out beneath my fingers, while around me life is happening, separate from the act of writing.

I was thinking the other day about the ways in which my writing has paid off. You can’t just measure it in terms of monetary earnings either, but in emotional benefits, and other ways. I’d like to share with you some of them I have experienced over the years…

FRIENDS/CONNECTIONS

I have found that I have made several connections who later turned out to be great friends as well through my writing.

I think too that my friendships have deepened with some after they read some of my writing. Let’s face it, the YOU that you present when face to face with someone can often be different from the YOU who generates words on a page (virtual or online).

I think that, for me, I usually work out my emotions in black and white letters long before I share them with others. The analytical side of me and the emotional side come together and hammer out an understanding of the world, and place it gently where others can see.

Those words are read and they become the missing piece of the puzzle. Humans are complex creatures, we can’t show every part of ourselves to another human being, there are parts that we hold back, out of fear, out of privacy, or simply forget to mention.

Reading what I write, that gives others a peek into a life you don’t see if you aren’t physically with me at all times.

In this way, for those people who care, they get to see more of me than they might have before. I figure that weeds out the ones who simply cannot relate and brings closer those who can appreciate (even if they don’t always agree) where I am coming from.

Sharing these tidbits has created (often much to my surprise) the deeper and stronger connections/friendships I find myself experiencing lately. And that has really has no monetary value. Instead, it truly is priceless.

What about you? Have you found yourself connecting with others through your writing? Deepening relationships? Or even creating schisms with those of disparate minds?

(This post was originally published on Bubblews at: http://www.bubblews.com/news/2058775-how-my-writing-has-paid-off-friendsconnections)